Woman bitten by rat in Miami-Dade apartment building overrun with rodents

(WSVN) - Residents said rodents have taken over one South Florida apartment building. The situation is so bad, one woman was even bitten. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.

Nicole Johnson, resident: “I told this guy about these rats six months ago, and look what I am still dealing with six months later!”

This is what Nicole Johnson has been living with inside her Southwest Miami-Dade apartment.

Nicole Johnson: “It’s inhumane for anybody to live like this.”

Nicole sent us this video of the rats, so we went out to investigate for ourselves.

Brian Entin: “Did they chew all this up?”

Nicole Johnson: “This was a hole. I patched it.”

She showed us all the holes the rats come in through.

Nicole Johnson: “I want to let you see the homemade patch that I patched myself to try to keep them out.”

Patches in the bathrooms and even in the kitchen.

Nicole Johnson: “Went up in there. I’m watching him run, and he went up under here.”

There are rat droppings in the closets.

Nicole said the rats chewed open food wrappers and destroyed a pillow.

Nicole Johnson: “Moving around, scratching, trying to find a way how they are going to get back in.”

Neighbors hear the noises, too.

Kristopher Hart, resident: “It’s like they are traveling through the walls. One night, we heard it through the air vents, and it was like, we had to turn everything off because we are hearing something like ‘Tsss. Tsss. Tsss.'”

Nicole said she complained to her landlord and started sending him videos.

Nicole Johnson: “I’m sick of it. I can’t take this. I’m not used to it. I told him if one of these things bites me, it’s going to be a problem, and I mean that.”

That was Nicole’s breaking point.

Her medical records are clear: “Bitten by rat.”

Nicole Johnson: “He was wiggling, so I went to get it, and he smacked me on my arm.”

I called Nicole’s property manager. He claimed they addressed the issue and that Nicole is just a disgruntled tenant. I explained that we saw evidence of rats with our own eyes and that the problem was clearly not fixed.

Nicole said these rat traps have been the manager’s only solution.

Nicole Johnson: “I sit here in my car, and I eat my food until I’m finished, and then I go upstairs because I’m scared to take food upstairs because I don’t know if they’re going to come out and want to eat with me.”

Nicole receives Section 8 housing assistance, which means the government pays the majority of her rent.

We obtained a county inspection fail notice from January for the apartment, which confirms the “rodent infestation.”

Crystal Coleman, Miami-Dade Public Housing: “We take it very seriously, yes. This is federally-funded programs. This is taxpayer dollars.”

After we called Miami-Dade Public Housing, they were quick to act.

Brian Entin: “Will this landlord continue to get paid by the government?”

Crystal Coleman: “No, this landlord will not. This unit is no longer on the program.”

The county said they do yearly inspections on all Section 8 properties and have a zero-tolerance policy for landlord neglect.

Nicole Johnson: “Really? Is this what a person has to live with because they are in Section 8?”

Miami-Dade Housing is paying for Nicole to stay in a hotel while they help her find a new place to live.

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