Black mold, ant infestation, and faulty appliances found at Reno student apartments

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 8:58 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A Reno parent is speaking out over unsanitary living arrangements at an apartment complex near the University of Nevada Reno.

The woman in this story reached out to me, along with the two other parents, to try and resolve what they say are unhealthy conditions. All three women asked I keep their identity private to protect their children regarding their experience. One mother agreed to do an interview and for the sake of writing I’ll refer to her as Jane Doe.

“Families have no idea their kids are being exposed to this,” Doe begins.

On August 26, Doe moved her daughter and two other friends into The Highlands Apartments on Enterprise Road in Reno. From day one, she knew they had a problem.

“We had a lot of maintenance issues but the mold was always the biggest concern we had,” Doe said.

While getting her daughter settled into her apartment to start the school semester, Doe noticed black mold in the bathrooms, kitchen, and even in the dishwasher. Not to mention the paint on the floor, an ant infestation, dirty counters, and sticky cabinets. After multiple maintenance requests, a crew was sent to fix the mold. Doe explains they were told that mold killer would be sprayed, sanded, and then painted. What The Highlands did instead, according to Doe, was caulk over the mold in the showers and paint over the mold on the walls.

“To be honest, I felt very blown off,” Doe said.

Apart from being unsightly, the mold started to cause even more problems. Doe says her daughter had a pre-existing issue with breathing and even though she was having flair ups, they chalked it up to her condition. That was until the other two girls in the same apartment got sick. But, the girls in this story are not alone. If you go to the Highlands’ Yelp page, you can see other reviews making the same complaints. One of which reads:

“Moved into the Highlands for school. Holes in the wall, missing cabinet doors. Mold all over the bathrooms. Asked the apartments to come clean the mold and the guy put caulking over the mold. Not sure what he thought that would do. A few days later, more mold including on the faucet. Numerous issues were put in to request being fixed and the management never fixed it. They also said they were not going to fix the mold problems?!?! This is not healthy.”

When asked for comment, The Highlands issued a statement:

“When a maintenance request is made through its resident portal, The Highlands does its best to resolve that issue as thoroughly as possible. Issues concerning air quality are given high priority and we follow detailed operating procedures to resolve them. Highlands encourages all its residents to use the resident portal to submit requests for any unresolved maintenance issues their apartments may have.”

On September 30th, just one month and four days after the three girls moved in, all three parents moved the girls out. They could have forgotten the issue and moved on, but Doe says, she can‘t let another parent leave their child there.

“I know there’s someone else in that unit that’s being exposed to mold,” Doe said.