BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — A Tennessee woman is recovering after a brown recluse spider bit her several times.
Angela Wright said she woke up with arm pain and noticed a couple bumps on her chest and arm, but didn’t think much of it.
She went to the doctor’s office and was sent home with medication. Wright was rushed to the emergency room a couple days later after she described feeling like she was hallucinating.
“I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t move and I could barely swallow,” said Wright. “They said I was forming bubbles in my lungs, which could have caused pneumonia, and they said if I would have waited a few more hours or maybe until the next morning if I would have made it, I would have had a stroke.”
She notified management at her “Views of Brentwood” apartment complex, which sprayed her unit. Wright said the dangerous spiders came back.
“We were finding brown recluses left and right, in our bed, in the ceiling, in the iron, in her shoe,” said Wright.
She is in the process of moving out of her apartment and asked the complex to break her lease.
“They said the only thing they can do is give me a 60-day notice and I will have to fulfill that,” said Wright.
Wright said the 60-day notice would require her to pay $2,200.
“This isn’t my problem. I came here thinking this was a nice place to live,” Wright said.
Attorney John Augusta with EastSide Legal said when it comes to renters’ rights, it’s situational.
He said a renter has to prove the apartment is uninhabitable, meaning it’s no longer a safe place to live. Those situations can sometimes involve black mold, infestations and plumbing issues.
“If he fails to correct the infestation, if she’s given him 14 days notification and he still hasn’t done anything, then she needs to file an action in general sessions court,” Augusta said.
Augusta said the biggest mistake renters make is refusing to pay rent when there is an issue, which puts the control back in the landlord’s hands.
“People always believe or think, the landlord’s not fixing the plumbing, I can stop paying the rent. Landlord’s not fixing the air, I can stop paying the rent,” Augusta said.
The key, Augusta said, is carefully reading your lease before you sign it to make sure you know the terms.