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5 on Your Side helps Tiffany Liggins with mice problem

10:03 PM, May 28, 2013   |    comments
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BRIDGETON, Mo. (KSDK) - A Bridgeton mother is fed up. She's been dealing with mice in her apartment for the past couple of months. She's called apartment management and they claim they've done all they can. But as 5 on Your Side's Mike Rush found out, the pests appear to have made themselves at home.

Tiffany Liggins is a single mom who's losing sleep over some unwanted house guests.

"About March 4, I found a mouse in my sink, I disposed of it and from March 4th until now, I've had nothing but mice," said Liggins. "It's aggravating to know your kids don't want to come in the kitchen, because they don't know if they're going to see a mouse, they don't want to sleep in their own beds, in their rooms."

"I'm up all night, half the night, looking around, coming to see if I got evidence on my counter, it's just ridiculous," added Liggins.

Liggins, who lives in the Bridgeport Crossings Apartments in Bridgeton, took her complaint to management.

"They came out put mouse traps down, they caught a couple of them right after we put the first mouse trap down," said Liggins. "But it's like they hadn't found the source of the problem."

It's not the first time 5 on Your Side has visited Bridgeport Crossing. Last summer, residents complained about air conditioners that weren't cooling properly. Mike Rush stopped in to see if he could get answers. Property manager, Sharon Waters, didn't want to speak with 5 on Your Side then, and they didn't want to speak with us now.

We contacted the apartment's lawyer who seemed more level-headed. He says management has done all it can to get rid of the mice and believes Liggins complaint is more about trying to break her lease.

The complex took Liggins to court last year because she was behind on rent and the lawyer says they will go back to court because she hasn't paid for May.

Liggins admits getting behind on rent, but doesn't believe that warrants having to live with rodents. She also showed 5 on Your Side the apartment maintenance crew's attempt to block the mice from coming in. It's foam. That simply doesn't so the trick.

"I just can't stay no more," said Liggins. "Because it's not healthy for me or my kids."

5 on Your Side wanted to learn more about renter's rights and took our questions to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Attorney Susan Alverson says a renter's best defense is documentation. She suggests renters put every complaint, every conversation in writing.

"One of the most important things that a judge is going to ask the parties in front of them is, 'Do you have proof of that? Do you have your documents?' said Alverson. "So you have to think about that. Who's going to be your best advocate? You are."

Alverson also suggests documenting problems with photographs. Just last week Liggins snapped pictures of mice in her apartment with her cell phone. It's documented proof that shows her mice worries are far from over.

"I want them to let me out of my lease without any problems," said Liggins. "That's all I ask."

The attorney representing Bridgeton Crossing says they're moving forward with legal steps to get the money they're owed.

Liggins, who decided to leave her apartment to the mice, believes she's got a case that will hold up in court and hopes the apartment complex will reconsider their decision to let her out of her contract.

KSDK

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