DeKalb County

DeKalb family fighting for refund after rental home is overrun with mold, roaches

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County family is fighting to get the money they paid their landlord back after they say the house they were supposed to move into is “unlivable.”

For the last year and a half, Tony Lester and his family of seven have been working to get back on their feet, after losing everything in a house fire.

“We’ve already been through so much and I’m trying everything in my power to take care of my wife and my kids,” Lester told Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln.

Now, he says they’re facing another setback, a rental home on Davidson Drive in Stonecrest that’s infested with roaches and black mold.

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“My wife turned the air on and that’s when the roaches just, we had to leave out of the house, they were coming out of the vents so bad,” he said.

Phillip Saffo lives next door and says he went on the defense after noticing an increase in roaches coming onto his property.

“You can see I mean literally thousands trying to get inside of the house, they were in the bushes,” he said.

Lester says after paying $2,000 to the landlord, they discovered the insects. They didn’t notice it during the walkthrough because there was no power in the home.

“I don’t want my child sick, she’s a newborn,” Lester said.


Channel 2 Action News made multiple attempts to reach out to the landlord. He has not responded to any of our messages. Lincoln went through DeKalb County property records and found Cleveland Clarke owns the home.

Lester says his family never moved into the home due to the insects and mold.

He says the landlord refuses to refund him his deposit.

Lester’s family has created a GoFundMe campaign to help with relocating expenses.

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