ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — The Morning Insiders chase lots of tips – but when a viewer emailed about her Arlington Heights apartment that’s “beyond horrendous,” we just had to check it out.
Among the issues were earthworms crawling inside her home. And as CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas reported Wednesday morning, the “eew” factor is in sharp contrast to how the suburban complex is advertised.
The Residences at Arlington Heights has a bowling alley on the premises, a sparkling pool, pool tables and pinball. The public areas appear luxurious.
But that’s not all the complex has, according to Angela Blakely.
“I informed them about the bugs – I’m seeing roaches, ants, and spiders,” Blakely said. “So then, we began to see the gnats everywhere.”
The public areas appear luxurious on the Residences at Arlington Heights’ website. But inside Blakely’s apartment, it was a completely different story.
“This is ridiculous,” she said. “As time progressed, then, you know, then I saw a mouse.”
So now, Blakely’s home sweet home since last month is filled with a variety of traps. Some are sticky, some tall, some black, some white, some homemade, and some professional.
“I’m frustrated. I have like a very, very big fear of bugs,” Blakely said.
Blakely said a gnat trap in her son’s room collected many pests in about an hour, and she said some sort kind of bug has been biting her son repeatedly.
“I’ve been scared,” said Blakely’s son, Mathias.
And his mother, who has two children in total, said she has had it with failed past pest control attempts.
“They come out every week, and I’ve had issue after issue every week,” Blakely said. “Nothing’s being solved with pest control.”
Blakely’s request is to be moved to another apartment in the complex. So far, she hasn’t had any luck
And it’s not just the bugs. She said management is bugging her too – for its unwillingness to fix the issues.
She recorded a phone conversation with management.
Blakely: “OK, you guys realize that you keep putting a Band-Aid?”
Management: “It’s an old building. These are old apartments.”
Management also addressed the worms that were seen on the floor of Blakely’s apartment.
Management: “There are worms because of the rain.”
Blakely: “Earthworms live in soil. They don’t live in houses.”
Management: “But the rain brings them to the surface.”
CBS 2’s McNicholas tried to get answers from onsite property management. Their response was to call police on him.
“And I’ve contacted corporate,” Blakely said.
Blakely never heard back from the corporate office. But after McNicholas’ own encounter with Arlington Heights police, CBS 2 contacted JRK Property Holdings as well.
The Los Angeles-based real estate giant boasts of its $6 billion dollar investment, spanning 20 states, with over 32,000 units.
Despite promises of “unrivaled customer service,” “consistently warm and welcoming service,” and “excellence is paramount” on JRK’s website. Blakely said she is essentially homeless at this point.
“So we’ve been going back and forth to my sister’s house every day, just because I don’t feel comfortable being here,” she said.
That’s a 30-minute commute just to bring her son to the bus stop every day.
We never heard back from JRK Properties.
Meanwhile, Blakely even hired the Orkin man at her own expense, and showed us the bill to prove it, to try to get rid of the pests that her landlord has been unable to eradicate.
What can you do if you find yourself in a similar situation? Click here for some information about tenants’ rights.