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How to report deplorable apartment conditions in Houston

On Friday, local advocates worked to draw attention to yet another apartment complex on Houston's southeast side.

HOUSTON — Deplorable conditions have been reported at yet another Houston apartment complex.

Tenants at the Cabo San Lucas apartment complex on Houston's southeast side say their concerns are being ignored by management.

"There are rats. I will hear them scraping the ceiling all night like a big claw. It's terrible, it's gross. I get scared," said Angelina Kisinger, a resident at the apartment complex.

RELATED: Residents celebrating after NE Houston apartment complex brought back up to code

On Friday, local advocates visited the property, putting pressure on management. 

“We have so many complaints and so many videos," said Dr. Candice Matthews with civil rights group Rainbow Push Coalition. "It’s deplorable conditions."

Many people in these situations are asking how they can get help and what steps they need to take to handle these problems. 

What are the steps needed to hold a landlord accountable in Houston?

Councilwoman Letitia Plummer has created a website with a checklist of what tenants need to know.

"Calling 311 and complaining and getting that case number is the first step you need to do to get a landlord to do anything. You to write a physical letter and it has to be certified," Plummer said.

She says the landlord has 7 days to respond when conditions are life-threatening.  

RELATED: 'Deplorable': City of Houston 'coming after' apartments with unsafe, unhealthy living conditions

"No water period, in the heat in the summer no A/C, that's life-threatening," Plummer said as an example. "Mold, living mold, there's a difference, things that affect your life." 

If nothing is done, Plummer says state guidelines require another letter to be written, and if that’s ignored, "After that at that point you are now in a position to take legal action." 

Here's what the Rainbow Push Coalition says you should do:

"First thing you have to do you provide recent video, give an official email complaint to our agency of what is actually happening. Then we have to know if you receiving section 8, receiving HUD or are you privately paying," Matthews said.

She says she plans to visit properties where tenants are reporting similar conditions each week with hopes to empower residents like Kisinger.

“They want us to pay this rent so I can’t even think about needing to save up for a new place but I still got this rent I need to pay for somewhere I don’t want to be,” said Kisinger.  

KHOU 11 reached out to the Cabo San Lucas apartment complex management, who declined to comment.

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