CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Residents of the Meridian Watermark apartments in North Chesterfield are speaking out about unsanitary conditions where they live.
Alvin Parker, who lives in the apartments, showed 8News some of the litter and waste that he said he has had to endure for the past few weeks. There were trash bags piled up on the sidewalk, food left out in the hallways and overflowing receptacles for animal feces on the lawn.
“It’s been dreadful,” Parker said. “They just have stuff laying around anywhere from two to three weeks.”
Parker said that this is his second year living at the Meridian Watermark. According to the apartment complex’s website, a 983-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment costs $1,350 to rent.
“The money that people are paying, the amount of money that they’re paying, the residents should get treated a lot better here,” he said. “It’s really disrespectful.”
Parker said that the apartments recently came under new management, and that’s when the problems started.
“Paper downstairs I’ve never seen before, maybe see a T-shirt laying on the ground, or a few cups, and then it went from that to, you know, going over to the trash can with animal feces on the ground,” he said. “You see little wildlife and stuff like that running around over there, and after a while, it’s just going to get too bad.”
Parker told 8News that on Sunday, he saw rats, maggots and cockroaches around trash that was left out on the property.
At the front entrance of the apartment complex, there is a sign, that reads Meridian Watermark, A Waverton Community. There used to also be a sign for the management company S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. However, on June 21, Vice President and Corporate Marketing Director Susan C. Childress said that the company no longer manages the property. According to Childress, the community is now owned by Capreit.
8News reached out to the front office at Meridian Watermark for an interview, but that request was denied.
“I talked to them, but, you know, they always say, ‘We’re short-handed. We’re short-staffed,'” Parker said. “You come home every day and you got to go look at that trash or you got to walk into a nasty hallway to come upstairs and, you know, coming out the gate or going in the gate, you going to run into somebody because the gate’s not operating properly.”
Parked said that he thinks the property is dealing with a staffing shortage, as he told 8News that he has only seen one maintenance worker since the new management company took over.
“Before, they had three maintenance men,” he said. “The main maintenance man, he’s still here. He was good and he still is. Like I said, you need to get the man some help. Not his fault. Get him some help or get him some more money.”
After speaking with Parker, 8News was approached by two additional residents, who asked to remain anonymous. They said that, after living at the Meridian Watermark for several years, they do not plan to re-sign their respective leases because of the conditions at the property.
“I won’t be here next year, I promise you that, and a whole lot of other people will have moved out, also,” Parker said. “I like it. But to stay, things have to definitely change.”