Letter to readers about the new California section

Rat Infestation Continues at Newbury Park Apartment Complex

Rental ServiceEssex Property Trust Inc.

NEWBURY PARK, Calif. (KTLA) -- County health officials responded to complaints of a rat infestation at a Newbury Park apartment complex after KTLA aired a news segment about the problem, but tenants say little has been done to alleviate the infestation.

The landlord sent exterminators to one apartment, however tenants say nothing else has been done, and the problem continues.

The tenants live at Hillcrest Park Apartment Homes at 1800 W. Hillcrest Dr.

There are more than 100 units at the complex, and more than one of them have been infested with rats, according to the people who live there.

Amateur video and a photos showed the rats crawling near windows, leaving feces everywhere and drinking out of water faucets.

"Just opening my door, there's rat feces everywhere," said resident Holly Nevlin.

Residents told KTLA that the problem has gotten worse in recent weeks, and property managers at the complex haven't done much in response.

Nevlin told KTLA she was forced out of her apartment three weeks ago when a pipe burst under the floor.

Property managers told her they'd reimburse her for hotel costs, but when she returned home, her apartment was destroyed, crawling with 30 rats.

Beyond setting a few rat traps, Nevlin and neighbors said property managers haven't done anything to stop the rats from taking over.

One resident said she saw a trap that was successful in catching a rat, but other rats ate most of it, leaving its body parts behind.

Essex Property Trust, the company that manages the complex would not comment specifically about Hillcrest Park Apartment Homes.

It released this statement on Tuesday: "We employ preventive pest control measures and address all concerns of our residents."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Rental ServiceEssex Property Trust Inc.