Tuscaloosa apartment complex raided after residents report rats, overflowing garbage

As apartment complexes and rental properties around Tuscaloosa are seeing an influx of move-ins and move-outs this time of year, one student-oriented property is facing a whole different kind of hustle and bustle.

The Lofts at City Center, located just off McFarland Boulevard across from the Shoppes at Legacy Park in Tuscaloosa was filled with members of the Tuscaloosa Police Department, city code enforcement and health department officials on Tuesday.

“They were surprised, obviously,” TPD Captain Phil Simpson said.

Why? Rats. A lot of rats. After the complaints reached a fever pitch, TPD Capt. Phil Simpson said, it was time for official action.

“The trash is a huge issue,” Simpson said, alongside mounting piles of garbage and a lack of maintenance. “Plus, the possible issue with some fire code violations and possible insect and rodent infestation is what they are investigating.”

Simpson said the city has gotten complaints for months. And current and former Lofts residents said they’re not surprised.

“If you look at them all together, I would consider it a major violation,” Simpson said. “If you look at each individual one, they are all probably minor in the grand scheme of things. When you put them all together, it adds up to lowering the quality of life for the residents who have come here and are spending their hard earned money for a place to live.”

WVUA 23 met a University of Alabama student who lives at The Lofts. The student didn’t want any trouble from the management, so WVUA 23 is not identifying them. But the living conditions, they said, are abhorrent.

“From the outside looking in, it looks pretty good,” the resident said. “But when you get inside, they don’t really show what we get.”

The resident said he’s thankful the city finally stepped in.

“I was kind of confused on what the situation was,” the resident said. “Hopefully they can get to the bottom of everything and make The Lofts a better place to stay for the students. It’s a great place to be. It’s close to campus. If we can just update the small little things that have students be more comfortable staying here, I think that would change a lot of things for this outlook of The Lofts.”

TPD did not issue any citations Tuesday because the complex exhibited improvements from the city’s last visit. Simpson said The Lofts management is working with the city to develop a plan that will get the complex in compliance.

Like many student-focused apartments around Tuscaloosa, The Lofts is rented by the room, with rates for a four-bedroom unit starting around $400 a month.

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