Residents at a Bronx apartment complex are running from the rats they say are taking over their home and want building management to address other problems they say have been plaguing the property for too long. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
The Allerton Coops in Olinville look like a pretty nice place to live, but at night it's another story.
"I am not trying to come in here when it gets dark because the rats are going like this," said LaVerne Underdue, an Allerton Coops resident.
Huge rats, sometimes in groups of 10, maybe 15, run through the courtyards on the property, residents say.
"Those things are so scary," said one resident.
"It's outrageous. It's out of hand," said another resident.
Tenants say they're even beginning to see the rodents on the lower floors of the 736-unit complex. Management has put down several bait and poison boxes and taken other steps, but residents say they're just Band-Aid solutions that don't solve the problem.
"There are bricks that are laid in the areas where the rat holes are. They're like burrows cause the rats come out and then they go back in. What I want him to do is go to the basements and get some serious extermination, rat poisoning," said Janice Walcott, an Allerton Coops resident.
And it's not just the rats that residents say are a problem. The buildings are in need of repairs. Underdue has correspondence with the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development dating back to September of 2013 about one particular leak.
"There's a plastic bag in front of my door because it's dripping water from the ceiling in my apartment," Underdue said.
Underdue's next door neighbor's walls are even worse and friends worry his health is failing because of it.
"Every time It rains the rain comes through from the top. The corner, it's like a pocket in the roof and it comes down the wall, behind the wall and this is like 10, 15 years of just painting on top the mold and then it keeps repeating and peeling off," said Paula Allow, the tenant's friend.
Residents says they've complained to management about the leaks and several other issues including safety but no one listens.
"The doors are always being tampered with which means that we're not secure in here," Underdue noted.
NY1 was told the managing agent, Neftali Lebenbrown, was not in when the station visited the management office.
Further calls to the office went unanswered.
The owner of The Coops, Chaim Schweid, is listed as having several other properties in Brooklyn and Queens.