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Roaches infest East Anchorage complex

By Heather Hintze 11:14 PM July 30, 2013

Tenants say the landlord isn't taking care of a roach infestation; the landlord says it's an issue with tenants, not bugs

ANCHORAGE – Dottie Turner and her family are moving out of a six-plex on San Roberto because she said their apartment is infested with roaches.

“They’re all over. They’re in the drawers, in my silverware, in my pots and pans,” Dottie said.

She said the landlord, Allan Holness, evicted them after her son, Martine Turner, told him to get rid of the bugs.

“I cornered him on the stairs and said, ‘hey man, you’ve got cockroaches here. By law you have to take care of it.’ He said I don’t have to live with it; it’s not my problem,” said Martine Turner.

In a neighboring apartment there are roaches smashed on the walls. Tenants said Holness simply dropped off pesticides instead of really taking care of the problem.

“He’s not doing what he’s supposed to be doing for his tenants yet he’ll take their money,” Dottie said.

Holness declined to go on camera but said over the phone he tried to get rid of the bugs. He blames the renters.

“I plan to deal with it as affectively as I’m able to. The problem is not necessarily the cockroaches but the fact there are other problems associated with that building of people that have been on drugs,” Holness said.

He said several units in the complex don’t have bugs.

“It’s a problem of cleanliness. If you leave food source[s] around then yeah, you’ll never get rid of cockroaches,” Holness said.

“We have kids. Everyone’s house has a little something. But this place is infested bad,” Martine said.

Lawyers with Alaska Legal Services said it’s a landlord’s responsibility to keep units “habitable.” They said in the case of a major infestation, the landlord would likely need to hire a professional exterminator to effectively solve the problem.

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