LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST ROSELAND PROPERTIES IN NEW JERSEY ALLEGING DANGEROUS AND UNHEALTHY LIVING CONDITION CREATED BY A MICE INFESTED APARTMENT
A lawsuit alleging negligence, violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), breach of warranty of habitability, breach of covenant of peaceful enjoyment, private nuisance, breach of duty of good faith and intentional/reckless /outrageous conduct was filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County, Docket No. HUD 3866-18, against Roseland Residential Trust, doing business as Half Moon Harbor, located at 7912 River Road, North Bergen, New Jersey.
The allegations contained in the Complaint are as follows:
Defendant, ROSELAND RESIDENTIAL TRUST was and at all times hereinafter mentioned owns, operates and/or manages the HALF MOON HARBOR, a residential apartment complex located at 7912 River Road, North Bergen New Jersey 07047, in the County of Hudson.
Plaintiff, Suellen Dos Santos, resided at the HALF MOON HARBOR from February 2017 to February 15, 2018.
Plaintiff, Jay Chatarpaul, resided at the HALF MOON HARBOR from June 2013 to February15, 2018.
Both Plaintiffs resided together in apartment 1212, a three (3) bedroom apartment on the 12th floor of the building.
The monthly rent at all times hereinafter mentioned was approximately $3400 per month, including parking and pet fee.
On or about May-June 2017, plaintiffs began noticing mice coming into the apartment from the laundry room of the apartment.
Plaintiffs notified HALF MOON’s management (“HALF MOON”), and HALF MOON had an exterminator sprayed the laundry room with an unknown chemical.
However, the chemical was simply a cosmetic solution, and the mice kept coming into the apartment from the laundry room.
Plaintiffs advised HALF MOON HARBOR that plaintiff Dos Santos was pregnant, and the plaintiffs’ child will arrive sometime in February 2018, and thus, the mice problem must be fixed before the baby arrives.
Subsequently, the management of the HALF MOON HARBOR building was then taken over by ROSELAND PROPERTIES.
After ROSELAND PROPERTIES took over management of HALF MOON HARBOR, the number of mice coming into the apartment increased dramatically.
Over the course of several months, the plaintiffs complained to ROSELAND PROPERTIES almost on a weekly basis that apartment 1212 was INFESTED with mice.
Plaintiffs repeatedly advised ROSELAND PROPERTIES that numerous mice were coming into the apartment from the laundry room.
Plaintiffs repeatedly advised ROSELAND PROPERTIES that the mice problem was dangerous as Plaintiff Dos Santos was pregnant and the plaintiffs were expecting the child in February 2018.
At various times, Plaintiffs caught several mice and used a broom to destroy them in every single room in the apartment, including the laundry room, two (2) closets, the three (3) bedrooms, the living room and the kitchen.
It is estimated that over six (6) mice were caught and destroyed, and over six (6) other were seen in the apartment and laundry area and ran away.
In addition to the mice infesting the entire apartment, the mice were seen entering into a hand- held vacuum and in every burner in the stove in the kitchen and in the garbage can in one of the bedrooms.
Attached hereto as Exhibit A is a copy of video of one of the mice found in the living room of the apartment still alive, along with mice droppings around the mice.
Attached hereto as Exhibit B is a copy of a video of another mice found in a held-held vacuum and shown to a maintenance employee of ROSELAND PROPERTIES, who also appeared in the video.
Attached hereto as Exhibit C is a copy of a video of mice droppings found in the living room and in the laundry room.
Attached hereto as Exhibit D is a copy of a video of mice droppings found in one of the bedrooms.
Attached hereto as Exhibit E is a copy of a various photos depicting steel wool affixed to every opening in the kitchen stove.
The plaintiffs also attempted to seal all of the openings in the apartment on their own by purchasing over-the-counter sealants.
However, the mice kept eating through the sealants and coming into the apartment.
For approximately two (2) or more months, at various times, plaintiffs could not cook or eat anything from the kitchen stove.
For several months, plaintiffs could not sleep or function in the apartment in a peaceful and habitable manner.
During this entire time, Plaintiff Dos Santos was pregnant, and experienced heightened anxiety and emotional distress almost each night, as she could not sleep adequately and comfortably due to the mice infestation.
Plaintiff Dos Santos could not sleep or function in a reasonably healthy manner would wake up at all hours of the night at the sounds of mice crawling in the apartment.
The plaintiffs were too embarrassed to invite anyone over to the apartment, including family and friends because of the mice infestation.
In addition, the plaintiffs lived in fear, anger, stressed, helpless and frustrated as a result of the mice infestation over all areas of their apartment.
During a period exceeding six (6) months, plaintiffs had to throw away food because of the mice.
Plaintiffs supplied ROSELAND PROPERTIES with many photos and the videos of the mice and mice dropping.
However, ROSELAND ignored the serious hazard conditions of the apartment, and instead had the apartment sprayed in an attempt to make it appear that something was being done about the mice infestation, but in practice were simply cosmetic.
ROSELAND PROPERTIES knew of the health hazard and dangerous condition of the apartment, but instead of solving the problem by blocking all openings of the apartment by building new walls to prevent the entry of the mice, which would entail them to expend money, they simply had the apartment sprayed by an exterminator knowing that such cosmetic application would not result in a habitable living condition for the plaintiffs.
ROSELAND PROPERTIES failed to offer an alternative apartment and/or other living arrangement.
Upon information and belief, ROSELAND PROPERTIES’s reputation of a lessor of residential apartments is that of a landlord that engages in reckless disregard of the health and safety of their tenants over money and profits.
Upon information and belief, other tenants at the Half Moon Harbor building complained about mice infestation in the building. However, ROSELAND PROPERTIES kept this problem hidden from the general public and especially other tenants and potential tenants.
On January 16, 2018, the plaintiffs sent a letter to ROSELAND PROPERTIES stating, inter alia, that as result of the mice infestation in the apartment, a hazardous condition to the plaintiffs’, especially Plaintiff Dos Santos, who is pregnant and expecting a child in February2018, that the plaintiffs will be vacating the apartment in February 2018.
In a January 29, 2018 letter response from the attorney ROSELAND PROPERTIES, Jennifer L. Alexander, Esq., of Griffen Alexander, PC., which can be only described as a callous and deliberate indifference to the hazardous condition permitted by ROSELAND PROPERTIES, and callous/deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s Dos Santos’ pregnancy, ROSELAND sought money from the plaintiff for being forced to vacate the apartment due to the deliberate and/or
reckless conduct of ROSELAND PROPERTIES in ignoring a serious health hazard in the apartment.
After receiving plaintiff’s January 16, 2018 letter, ROSELAND PROPERTIES failed to conduct any repairs of the premises to stop the inflow of mice.
On February 15, 2018, plaintiff’s baby was born, and remained in the hospital.
On February 17, 2018, plaintiffs vacated the apartment and returned the keys.
Despite being forced to live in an apartment infested with mice, the plaintiffs continued to pay the rent as they did not want their credit standing to be harmed.
The plaintiffs are seeking other tenants of Roseland Properties who may have had similar experience. Please call us at 201-222-0123.
A copy of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit (complaint) is a matter of public record pursuant to New Jersey Rule 1:38-2 and can be obtained from the court. The defendants’ answer to the complaint could also be obtained from the court. The allegations set forth above and in the Complaint filed in Court have not yet been determined to be true or false by any court or jury.