Youngstown landlord says tenants to blame for cockroach infestation

Local News

A community group is calling him a "problem landlord," but Carmen Neapolitan said it's not always the landlord's fault

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A rental house on Youngstown’s south side is infested with cockroaches. According to the landlord, the tenant left it that way.

The Youngstown community group known as ACTION has spent the past several months targeting what it refers to as “problem landlords.”

One of them is Carmen Neapolitan, of Poland, who said it’s not always the landlord’s fault.

The house with the infestation is on Cornell Street, across from Youngstown’s St. Matthias Church.

“I smell the stink already without even going in,” Neapolitan said.

He showed us a picture of a freezer door covered in cockroaches, so we went looking for that refrigerator. Neapolitan said a previous tenant left it behind.

But when we walked into the kitchen, the refrigerator was gone.

“They must have pulled the refrigerator out of here,” Neapolitan said.

There were, however, still bugs crawling around — on the floor, in the kitchen sink, on the walls.

The remnants of the refrigerator remained.

“We’ll come in, rip the carpeting all out, spray it with bug killer, paint the house, clean it up and put it back up for rent again,” he said.

He estimated it would cost around $2,500.

Additionally, the screen door was broken and metal porch railing was missing.

Neapolitan said this is a common thing.

“We find that people will come in and the house will be new carpet, new paint and this is how they’ll end up leaving the house.”

Five blocks away at another house on Miller Street, graffiti was written all over the walls, the kitchen sink was a mess and the bottom part of one of the original wooden doors had been kicked in.

Neapolitan owns 35 to 40 rental houses throughout Youngstown — most of which are rented. He’s been targeted by ACTION for not maintaining his properties.

But Neapolitan said oftentimes, it’s the tenants who are to blame.

“I would say most of the cases, it’s the tenants. The tenants — they don’t pay the rent, and then they tear the houses up, and they leave us with enormous water bills and they throw all the burden back on us.”

Neapolitan said for all the hassles being a Youngstown landlord brings, he still enjoys it.

As far as ACTION’s criticism of his properties, he said he does the best he can.

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