Fort Myers apartment homes test positive for toxic mold

Experts told WINK news black gunk found in a luxury apartment complex is toxic mold. Furthermore, mushrooms are sprouting up in one tenant’s apartment after they let our team have a look inside. Tenants say these things coupled together are making them sick.

The Laurels Apartment Homes in Fort Myers is home to the complaints tenants have made Thursday regarding black mold, which tenants said causes hallucinations.

“We’ve had migraines,” Chantel Talboys said. “We’ve been nauseous. We’ve had problems with cognitive functions. Our memories have been scattered.”

Talboys and Brandon Murray moved into the apartment complex in November 2018.

“They couldn’t acknowledge that there was even a problem,” Murray said.

The problem lies in the couple’s bathroom kitchen, living room and air conditioning unit.

“People’s well beings are at risk here,” Talboys said. “People are living in these places.”

They’re brought their issues to management like the lease policy agrees to. But they say repairs are patchwork.

Michael Brigiandi, owner of Mr. Dry Services, is a mold expert. They tested the black gunk from the apartment complex. Brigiandi said test results detected high levels of various mold, including toxic black mold.

“There’s a lot of evidence of continuous patchwork rather than the proper remediation of the mold spores,” Brigiandi said. “It’s my recommendation that a mold remediation come in and take care of these units to ensure the health of these tenants.”

Instead of that, the management company at the apartment complex gave tenants eviction notices.

“Now we’re kinda out of loss of what to do after we got eviction notice,” Murray said.

In the notice, the company cites the couple as disruptive toward neighbors and maintenance workers, along with damaging the apartment while searching for black mold.

Neighbors told WINK News they are forced to move out while still being held accountable for more than $1,000 in rent.

“I’m living in Cape Coral at my girlfriend’s mothers’ house because 15 minutes there, you start to hallucinate,” Jerome Singh said.

Talboys, Muray and Singh are all seeking legal representation.

All units in Talboys’ and Murray’s building are receiving inspection this week except for theirs. The couple have about a week to respond to the eviction notice.

WINK News contacted Laurel apartments, and it referred us to a statement it released.

According to its statement, “We respond promptly to any and all requests and are dedicated to resolving any issues. We have company policies and procedures in place to address and resolve any issues that may arise.”

For tenants WINK news spoke to, they said that’s not the reality.

“We want to get out as soon as we can,” Chantel Talboys said. “We understand that our health is at risk. But at the same time, we can’t just leave and turn our back on everyone who lives here.”

 

Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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