Rats! New Bedford Woman Threatens to Sue Landlord
Jacqueline Tome hates rats but loves her apartment. Therein lies the problem.
Tome says she has locked horns with her landlord, Steve Menard, over what she calls a rat infestation for about a year. The 81 Cottage St. resident has filed a complaint with the city's Health Department, has begun to put her rent into an escrow account and vows she and her landlord "will be going to court over this one."
Menard counters he has done everything asked of him. He says "we're happy to clean it up ... but we can only do what's possible." "We're taking advice from the Board of Health and contractors. I don't know what else we're supposed to do," he said. "We're doing everything the professionals are recommending." Menard said he has had no other complaints from tenants in Tome's apartment building and is unsure what Tome "is looking for." Tome's apartment is one of six in the building.
He suggested the rats may be drawn to Tome's cat food. "She yells and screams and swears at me," Menard said of Tome. "I've told her to submit everything in writing."
The city's Health Department has a file documenting her complaints and the numerous inspections that followed. "I literally have no more strength, no more energy," said Tome, a 46-year-old who works for Comcast. "I'm burnt out." So why not move out of the place she has called home for the last nine years? "My apartment is beautiful. I have off-street parking and it's safe," she said.
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