AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Evicted tenant calls Supervisor Horn a slumlord

Evicted tenant calls Supervisor Horn a slumlord

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SAN MARCOS (CBS 8) - County Supervisor Bill Horn is accused of being a slumlord by a tenant who lives in one of Horn's properties. The tenant says his San Marcos apartment is rat-infested, and claims he's now being evicted for not paying his rent.

Archimedes Vargas can point to mouse and rat holes inside of almost every room of his apartment. Cactus Garden Apartments is where he and his wife have raised their three children for two and a half years, despite the damage to his furniture and his well-being, thanks to the mice and rats.

"I never leave food on the table because they come out and eat the food. So what can I do?" he said.

He says his pest control requests to the manager of Cactus Garden Apartments have gone unanswered.

"Seven months ago one guy is [sic] coming and they just put a little water with some poison and it's not working," he said. "It's for the roaches, not for the mice."

On Monday he knew he had three days to pay or would be evicted. Vargas refused to pay the $1,635 due to stay in the rat-infested apartment. On Thursday, deputies with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department served the eviction notice. 

Although Vargas said he refused to pay in protest, he was admittedly late on his $1,000-per-month-rent. He was hoping to work out an arrangement with the property manager that included the eradication of rats and mice.

"They're making money, making money, making money. They don't want to spend money to fix anything," Vargas said.

Despite the mouse feces on his clothes and behind his appliances he says he doesn't want to leave, he wants a change.

"I want to stay here because I want to fight. If I move from here, that guy always wins," Vargas said.

"That guy" is County Supervisor Bill Horn, who owns Cactus Garden Apartments. He declined CBS News 8's requests for an interview this week.

Vargas says his living conditions are common inside of the 40-unit complex.

There's medication on the bedroom table for his three-year-old son, Miguel, who has developed some rashes on his arms. Vargas has been told the dirty carpets inside of his old apartment may be a health hazard.

"The doctor said right now, my son [has rashes] right now, maybe my whole family [has them]," he said.

Vargas is locked out of the apartment until Friday when he can return only to pick up his belongings. He's getting legal advice, and, in the mean time, he has a message for Supervisor Horn.

"I'm going to take [the dispute] to court," said Vargas. "My whole family may be sick and it's all your fault."

Vargas is currently living with his wife's sister until he can find permanent housing for his family.

Horn's spokeswoman told CBS News 8 this is a personal issue and that Horn is choosing not to comment.

Multiple complaints about rodents at Cactus Garden Apartments have been posted online on various websites, implicating negligence on behalf of the property manager and owner.

On Bill Horn's website, he says he has hosted conferences to focus on bringing affordable housing to young families.

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