San Francisco

‘We Live Among Bedbugs and Cockroaches': Family Denounces Condition of SF Apartment

The family said they are desperate and can't sleep due to the fear of being bitten by the insects

A family in San Francisco said they live among an infestation of cockroaches, bed bugs and the presence of mold in their apartment and have yet to received any help from the building manager.

"In more than 15 years they have not given us maintenance, every year as they should, they always say that they have no money and that they can't," said the tenant, through tears.

NBC Bay Area's sister station, Telemundo 48, tried to contact the building administration. However, so far they have not received a response.

The presence of mold is increasingly visible in the bathroom but the situation has reportedly worsened in the last month due to cockroaches and bed bugs.

"In my apartment we see like seven cockroaches, but if you go to the garage or the hallway, you can see like 10 to 15 large cockroaches," said the tenant, who did not want to be identified.

And although they have used poison and traps to fight this infestation of insects it has not been enough. So much so that one of the people who lives in the house had to go to sleep in the living room because his room is infested with bed bugs.

"All around the bed and you can say the whole room, we have killed approximately 50 bed bugs," said the tenant.

Those affected said that they have contacted the administration of the building, however, they have not received a response.

"They have come to evaluate us twice and they have not given us a solution, it's been a week," said the tenant.

The family indicated that the situation has caused them despair and depression. "We cannot sleep in peace because we know if something is going to bite us or come out," they explained.

California law requires apartment or rental homeowners to adhere to health and maintenance protocols, but these standards are sometimes difficult to meet in low-income or Section Eight housing.

“Sometimes landlords don't have the money to invest in cleaning or maintenance, since the rent is below market and they have to prioritize that money over other things. Still, it's not right for them to ignore those complaints," said Gregory Brod, an attorney.

In the Bay Area, different organizations are in charge of helping and guiding tenants.

Here are several that you can contact:

  • Housing Rights Committee of SF 415-703-8644
  • San Francisco Tenants Union 415-282-6622
  • Eviction Defense Collaborative 415-659-9184
  • Tenants Together 415-495-8100
  • San Francisco Apartment Association 415-255-2288
  • Tenderloin Housing Clinic 415-885-3286
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