Local Judge Forbids Apartment Owner From Renting Out Units Infested With Bed Bugs And Cockroaches

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Bed bugs and cockroaches are among the most common insect pests that infest homes and buildings, and one apartment building in Ventura County has been infested with both of these pests for several years, according to some claims. Less than two weeks ago, Ventura County prosecutors sought a restraining order that would prevent the owner and manager of the Thousand Oaks apartment complex on Warwick Avenue from renting out roach and bed bug infested units to potential tenants. Not long afterward, a superior court judge granted the restraining order due to clear health code violations involving insect pests.

On July 31st, a civil complaint was filed by prosecutors with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office that accused the owner of the Thousand Oaks apartment complex of violating several state laws, including state health and safety codes, the penal code, the city’s municipal code, state plumbing codes, and several other statutes. This complaint was filed on behalf of several of the apartment building’s tenants who claim that they had been living within cockroach and bed bug infested units since they moved in. The tenants had been living within the infested units without any pest control assistance from the apartment’s managerial staff and owner.

In response to the civil complaint, Judge Vincent O’neill granted a restraining order that prohibits both the apartment’s managers and owner, Dr. Ashok Sharma, from allowing tenants to live within cockroach and bed bug infested apartment units. The Judge, apparently appalled by the tenant’s pest infested living conditions, also issued an order prohibiting the owner and managers from indulging in witness intimidation, and he froze the property’s assets until a hearing on the matter takes place next month.

An investigation conducted by both the City of Thousand Oaks’ Code Compliance Unit and the Ventura County Environmental Health Division concluded that multiple units in the apartment building are heavily infested with insect pests. The lead prosecutor on the case claimed that insect pest infestations have been an issue within the apartment building for the past 15 years, and last year, the city finally asked the prosecutor’s office to take the case to court. Attempts by the city to get the owner to comply with health and housing regulations ultimately failed. The hearing is scheduled for September 9th.

Have you ever been denied pest control assistance by your landlord after discovering an infestation within your apartment unit?