Cincinnati home had 23 code violations, rat infestation - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati home had 23 code violations, rat infestation

(Image: FOX19 NOW) (Image: FOX19 NOW)
(Image: FOX19 NOW) (Image: FOX19 NOW)
(Source: FOX19 NOW) (Source: FOX19 NOW)

A father cried out for help from the health department following an eviction notice from his landlord.

William Starkey lives with his girlfriend, April Riley, and their two kids at a home in the 2100 block of Selmin Avenue that was recently reported as having 23 code violations by the health department. 

Starkey said there was no lease agreement prior to moving in and he was happy to find a landlord that would accept him because he had previously been sued in a separate incident for breaking a lease agreement. 

The couple was paying $700 a month for a house they believed to be nice, affordable and in good shape at the time they moved in. 

As time went on, Starkey said he began to notice problems arise. 

There were no locks on the windows and the landlord stated the windows were too high to be broken into and that duct tape would suffice, according to Starkey. 

Starkey claimed they were told their 2-year-old had lead in his system following a regular check up. 

The couple said they are sure the lead entered their child's system after living in the house because the doctor hadn't detected it at his checkup 6 months prior.

They Health Department said the levels were not high enough for them to intervene or prove that it was because of the violations at the property.

Starkey claimed even more problems with the house have been made clear after months of living at the residence. 

He stated the family can't use the bathroom because the bath and toilet flood back into each other when being used. There is also an abundance of mold throughout the property and in the basement where running water is constantly coming from the pipes. 

"There's rats...a lot of rats," said Starkey. "One time we thought people were in our house; there were a ton of them that morning."

According to Starkey, the discrepancy between the family and the landlord came after the health department was called. 

He said the landlord showed up and told them they were suing Starkey for $2,000 worth of damages and that he owed over $900 in rent. 

Starkey appeared in court Friday. 

The Judge dismissed the case, saying the landlord could not evict the family when the landlord had code violations that went unfixed. 

"It was a lot of pressure at first because I didn't feel like I had a voice and to win the case was liberating because I felt like I had a voice," said Starkey. 

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