Complaints Over Bugs In Lynchburg Apartment Building Go Unanswered
Lynchburg, VA - Tenants say they've complained time and time again, to no avail. An ABC 13 investigation shows the apartment building in Lynchburg tenants say is riddled with bed bugs though is up to code. Bed bugs and broken elevators are just some of the complaints. Tenants took us inside to show us around the apartment complex, they're begging to see change. The Housing Authority though, says the building is up to quality standards and any changes are really at the discretion of the owners. When our ABC 13 crew walked in to the elevator at the Virginian apartments in downtown Lynchburg, they got stuck on the 4th floor. "When that elevator goes down, unfortunately, some of these people are trapped into their apartments and can't get to the supermarket, can't get help" said Katrina Manekas, a building tenant. Manekas has lived in her Section 8 allocated apartment for three years. A broken elevator she says is just the tip of the iceberg. Bees in the stairwell and bed bugs are also issues. She had to throw away her old bed, after exterminators came in and cleaned a year ago, but now she says, the bed bugs are back. She said her complaints to clean her apartment, have fallen on deaf ears. "They're coming out of the base boards, they're coming out of the walls, the ceilings, they're coming from everywhere. Almost the entire 5th floor right now has them" she said. "If there could've been a possibility that there had been bed bugs here, I would not have moved here" said Teresa Clay. Clay's apartment is three floors down from Manekas'. She said hers too is infested with bed bugs. "All my furniture I've been having to throw away because of the bed bugs. They have been in here, they have exterminated, it's done no good" said Clay. When our ABC 13 crew arrived at the building, management was not on site. We called the number provided, and were told it was only for emergencies. Manekas has contacted HUD, the local housing authority, and her management, to tell them of the problem. "I don't feel like people should be allowed to live like this" she said. The tenants we spoke with told us pest control has been to the apartment building on more than one occasion to clean, but they say the bugs are back. We did speak with representatives from the Housing Authority who said the building is inspected annually and on special request, and that it is up to housing quality standards.