Lee County tenants fed up with possible mold in apartments

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Tenants in apartment complexes across Lee County are being told by health inspectors their units are covered in mold, yet nothing is being done to fix the problem.

“If I’m finding mold on my bookbag, on my refrigerator, what is in my ventilation? What is in my ducts?” said a resident at Channelside Apartments on Ballast Point Drive.

After complaining numerous times to property managers, some tenants still aren’t seeing results.

“About a year and a half ago, I started getting sick,” said Veronica Banchs who lives at the Westchase Apartment complex in Fort Myers. “They’d come through and say ‘nothing is wrong, you’re fine.’ And if they saw mold coming out, they’d have me paint it over.”

Some waited for weeks for a cleaning service, others were stuck with puddles of water in their units.

“Whenever I would make complaints, they would say I complain too much,” Banchs added.

The tenants have now reached out to attorneys who say it’s the responsibility of a property manager to provide a safe living environment. Mold is not regulated in the state, according to the Florida Department of Health.

One of the tenants says she has mold polyps growing in her sinuses due to the living conditions inside her unit.

Another took pictures inside his air conditioning vent, covered in green and black mold.

“My throat is still infected, my nose is all enflamed. No medicine helps that because it’s constantly in the A/C blowing on my face at night,” said Garett Sabac, resident at Coastal Village Apartments.

If you think you’re getting sick from mold inside your rental property, attorneys suggest:

  • Taking photos of the suspected mold.
  • Writing a letter to the property manager and including the date the problem began and when the sickness started.
  • If no one responds or the problem persists, contact a lawyer.

WINK News reached out to each tenant’s property manager for comment but none of them replied.

Reporter:Michelle Kingston
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