South Minneapolis tenants protest unsanitary living conditions

Many residents of south Minneapolis apartments owned by The Apartment Shop and QT Properties rallied Wednesday to protest unsanitary conditions. 

"We're marching today because people need to know about the infestations--other possible renters of these buildings and the city officials. We need effective, full building exterminations by landlords, and we need the city to support us to get them," Anain Lozano, a tenant of QT Properties, said.

Minnesota law requires landlords to keep their buildings up to housing and health code, but according to the protesters, many of the properties owned by Steve Frenz (Apartment Shop) and Jason Quilling (QT properties) have extensive insect infestations that are not being exterminated properly.

It wasn't too hard for Fox 9 to find cockroaches on one woman's apartment walls crawling on the side of her kitchen cabinets, floor, and even on the stove – “My son has asthma but it seems to them it doesn't matter,” she said.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, said she worries for her children’s health.

“We've heard from hundreds of tenants across QT properties and apartment shop,” Roberto de la Riva, United Renters for Justice, said.

Roberto De La Riva rallied with tenants who share similar stories. The group carried signs and chanted from 31st and Pleasant to The Apartment Shop property demanding a new policy.

“We want people to be able to stay in their homes, improve the conditions they live in and live a dignified life,” De La Riva said.

Steve Frenz, the owner of The Apartment Shop, acknowledged that the infestations are a serious issue and said it’s something he struggles with every day.

“It requires residents to prepare properly,” Frenz said.  “We spend anywhere from $7,000 to $9,000 a month on exterminations. So we certainly put our time and effort into it.”