Reporting Jamie Yuccas
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BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — A lot more than people are living in a Burnsville rental complex. On Thursday, residents told stories of insects, rodents, even amphibians inside.
“This is actually a toad living in this apartment,” Burnsville Deputy City Manager Tom Hansen said.
And that’s not all. Other photos show water, mold and holes in drywall that were also prevalent at the Country Village Apartments in Burnsville.
Still, there are plenty of people living at the complex — they say it’s their only affordable option.
But, if property management doesn’t meet the city’s two-month deadline, everyone could be forced to find new places to live.
The city of Burnsville calls it extreme cases of filth — that’s what they’ve discovered inside the Country Village Apartments.
Drywall that’s been knocked out, bugs, mold damage and more.
Tenants say they also have plenty of bugs and rodents that run through their apartments.
“I know the two apartments next to mine have standing water and then they have water that falls from the ceiling straight into the tub,” resident Ayala Turpin said.
Another tenant said he didn’t have water for two days.
“This pin would come straight out. Of course, it leaks all the time and I can’t take my shower,” tenant Rachel Krieg said.
For the last seven months, the city has been investigating the complex, completing two major inspections, one in July and the other earlier this month.
This week, the City Council suspended the building’s license to rent — a first in Burnsville.
“They cannot rent any vacant units right now until they’ve met all the necessary code expectations before the City Council,” Hansen said.
And any units that become vacant can’t be rented out.
The property has until December to make proper repairs — that’s when apartments can reapply for their 2012 rental license.
“At that time, the City Council will expect significant progress to be made on making sure these units are inhabitable again,” Hansen said.
The attorney representing the apartments gave a statement that said its client, Lindahl Properties, is “actively working with the city of Burnsville to address any concerns they might have concerning the properties.”
Still, some say it’s too late.
“Dealing with the landlords and the type of people that are around here, I don’t want my son growing up in this atmosphere,” Krieg said.
Most people said they don’t plan on staying in their apartment once the lease is up.
It should also be noted that this investigation only started after fire crews responded to a kitchen grease fire, back in March.
A pest control worker was on scene on Thursday, checking out the property. There were also some workers fixing doors and painting, but there weren’t any major renovations being done when our crews were at the complex.