A group of Paso Robles tenants are suing their landlords, claiming their apartments are infested with vermin and that they’ve lived with poor housing conditions for years.
The lawsuit was filed in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on Tuesday and claims the Grand View Apartments complex — located at 102-240 Spring St. near the freeway exit — has had “rampant bed bug, cockroach and rat problems” for four years.
Civil complaints provide only plaintiffs’ perspectives — defendants’ points of view are not included. A message The Tribune left at the Grand View Apartments office seeking comment was not returned.
The complex has 54 units in six buildings and houses at least 200 tenants, according to the San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation, the nonprofit that filed the lawsuit.
The property was built in 1953, according to a real estate listing.
The lawsuit also claims the complex has serious maintenance problems on the complex grounds and building exteriors, as well as inside residents’ apartments.
Issues include mold, leaks, broken windows, sewage backups, a parking lot that floods whenever it rains and raw sewage outside the apartment units.
“When plaintiffs and class members complained to the on-site handyman or the property manager defendant, they would get bounced back and forth between them, other tenants would be blamed for the problems, or they would be given excuses as to why the problems could not be fixed,” the lawsuit reads.
Tenants have suffered health problems as a result of the poor living conditions, including flu-like symptoms, allergies, stomach pains, headaches and rashes, according to the lawsuit.
Ebrahim and Fahimeh Madadi, who live in Santa Barbara County, have owned the property since 2012, according to the lawsuit. They’re now trying to sell it for $11.5 million, according to a real estate listing.
Ceiling leaks, cockroaches and running faucets
One resident showed a Tribune reporter the interior of her apartment, which was plagued with many of the same maintenance issues described in the lawsuit.
The Tribune is declining to use the resident’s name, as she fears getting into trouble with her landlord.
The resident has lived in her Grand View apartment with her husband and three children for about two years.
The family moved to the city partially because the area is walkable, and the resident doesn’t have a car.
The resident has a large hole in her bedroom ceiling that opened up during the winter rains due to a leak. She said she and her husband alerted property management to the problem, but they never came to fix the hole.
Her husband managed to patch another hole nearby, but the largest one remains gaping.
There’s also a sizable crack in her children’s bedroom window near a bunk bed. Carpet and linoleum flooring surfaces are ripped throughout the apartment.
The bathtub and kitchen faucet sinks cannot be turned off completely and run constantly. Cockroaches roam cabinets containing the family’s food and dishes, a problem the resident said becomes worse at night.
The family initially paid $1,000 per month in rent, but they now pay $1,600 — the landlord said the hike was due to an increased need for garbage pickup, she said.
“I can’t pay all this money, because you guys don’t fix things,” she said. “It’s not a good place to live.”
The resident and her husband have considered moving to another place, but she said it’s difficult because the area is so expensive. She said her husband has been involved in trying to improve conditions, but she doesn’t want to make a fuss.
“What would I do with my kids?” she said. “I don’t want to be a problem.”
The tenants are requesting damages of $5,000 each for every time the landlords demanded or collected rent for substandard housing.