Rodent issue continues to persist in off-campus housing

A rat was caught alive in a sticky trap in Park Place. Courtesy Photo.

By Madeline Condor | Staff Writer

Repeated reports of rats in the off-campus apartment complex Park Place continue this semester. Students who live there say the issue has persisted for multiple semesters, yet management has not done much about it.

Scottie Henry, a 2023 Baylor graduate, was a Park Place resident for a year during the 2022-2023 school year and has since moved out. He said the situation made his living room “absolutely unlivable.”

Henry said management never informed residents of the issue.

“It was very under the table,” Henry said. “We found out about it because we had a rat of our own. And even after contacting [management] and hearing a few neighbors’ experiences, there was never any news on it — I think purposefully. They didn’t say there had been rats. It was a third-party exterminator yapping about dealing with rats in other units.”

A rat was caught and killed in a spring-loaded trap in Park Place. Courtesy Photo.
A rat was caught and killed in a spring-loaded trap in Park Place. Courtesy Photo

The Lariat reached out to Park Place management and employees on multiple occasions, but they declined to comment. The building complex — which is located at 909 Baylor Ave., next to the Stacy Riddle Forum — is owned by Park7 Group, whose headquarters are in New York. It also declined to comment.

“We do not associate with media, nor do we provide information for external stories. Please disengage, immediately, and refrain from reaching out to our employees. Wish you the best and thank you for inquiring,” Shantel Riddle, vice president of property operations for Park7 Group, told The Lariat via email.

One resident and Baylor student has lived at Park Place for a year, and they said they knew the rodents were becoming an issue when the trash chutes were closed multiple times during the spring 2023 semester.

“Two weeks after [the chute closed], a friend told me that he started to hear little steps and stuff like that,” the resident said. “And then one day, he told me that he saw an actual rat.”

The resident said a friend on the third floor found a rat in her bed. The apartment did not provide tools or funding to solve every rat issue, and residents bought their own supplies.

“That was pretty disgusting,” the resident said. “I think they haven’t been able to capture that rat, and I don’t know if Park Place has done something with them or not.”

Two rats were caught in a glue trap at Park Place. Courtesy Photo.
Two rats were caught in a glue trap at Park Place. Courtesy Photo

Residents said the issue initially affected the first and fifth floors before spreading to the entire building. Henry said he had to dispose of the rat himself after buying more traps, as the apartment only provided two traps on one occasion.

“They did come because we signed an emergency complaint and [Park Place maintenance] located the rat under our fridge,” Henry said. “All they did was lay two glue traps, and they left.”

Some residents have had to move out of their apartments because of the issue.

“I went downstairs, and [management] said they could do nothing that day because the manager wasn’t there, and supposedly maintenance was supposed to come that day to get it fixed, but there was no guarantee that they would come because they have their own schedule,” a second resident and Baylor student, who started living at Park Place this August, said.

They said they had to flee their apartment temporarily in order to maintain a healthy living environment, but they have since moved back in.

“We left the apartment because we weren’t going to be sleeping with a rat … It was almost a week, a little less than a week” for maintenance to come address the issue, the second resident said.

Corpus Christi senior Courtney Bouve said the management in the building often made residents take care of the issue on their own.

“The first time we ever saw one, they didn’t come for like three hours,” Bouve said. “We just had the rat, and we almost had to take care of it ourselves. They didn’t really care. They said they couldn’t really do anything about it.”

Bouve said the management changed multiple times in her two years living there. She has since moved to a different off-campus apartment.

“I signed on sophomore year, so we were there for two years, and they changed management at least four different times,” Bouve said. “Every time, they would promise it would get better, and it wouldn’t. It would just continually get worse.”