Metro Detroit family says major bat problem at rental home cost them thousands

Posted at 10:10 AM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 10:10:38-04

A metro Detroit family is furious with a landlord after they say their health was endangered because of a bat problem, and their landlord hasn't taken action for months.

Layne Byerle, 11, said she was bitten by a bat at the home they were renting. Video given to 7 Action News shows one of several bats the family says plagued them between July 2016 and September 2017.

"The very first day we moved in, we found a dead bat in the washing machine," Melody Byerle said.

Melody told us she was also bit by a bat, months after she first complained to Ross Realty LLC, the landlord.

Despite a crew being hired to remove the bats, Melody said they kept coming back through holes in the ceiling and eventually the family's medical bills started adding up. She showed us paperwork for rabies shots and other medical expenses.

"It's a virus called CMV, my two children were diagnosed with it," Melody said. "It was a result of the rabies shots hurting their immune system."

Attorney Joshua Cecil said the former landlord won't cover medical bills of more than $20,000. When we reached a part owner of Ross Realty LLC, she would not comment.

"If it was not for the landlord misrepresenting the safety or safe nature of the property, the family would not have moved into this place," Cecil said.

The Byerle family has moved to another home in Howell. They say they are now pursuing legal action.