When a family signs a lease on a rental property, there is an understanding that the landlord will keep a place livable. The Pugliese family in Georgia is in severe disagreement with their current landlord over what qualifies as a livable situation. The family thinks that their roof shouldn’t leak, and they shouldn’t have a home infested with rats, roaches, bees, and snakes literally falling out of the ceiling. Their landlord, John Stafford, feels that it’s normal for people to cohabitate with pests. This nightmare would be difficult to belief if the landlord wasn’t giving actual quotes to local news outlets and the Pugliese family wasn’t sharing pictures of snakes hanging out of their ceiling. Yes, there are photos.
See the photos the family shared with the local news in the Twitter post below. You’ll notice the snakes dangling out of holes in the rental property’s ceiling.
Hary Pugliese, Susan Pugliese, and their teenage daughter moved into a new home in January of 2021. They probably thought they were getting an exciting new start in their new place. However, right away, they learned that their roof was leaking. The landlord told them he didn’t have the money to fix it right away, but after a couple months, he did what Pugliese says was a patchwork repair, and the roof continues to leak. Eventually, they noticed that the home had rats. Reportedly, when he was asked if he knew that the property had rats, he said, “No, I’ve never heard that, but there are rats everywhere, so I’m sure there are rats there.” This is not a viewpoint most people want to hear from their landlord.
WTVC news in Georgia spoke with the landlord who felt that snakes and rats were a part of daily regular living. Their entire interview was wildly bizarre, only making the Pugliese family’s claims feel more true. When they informed their landlord of the snakes in the ceiling, Susan Pugliese said her landlord replied, “Well, if there are snakes in the ceiling, they’ll be taking care of the rats.”
While his nonchalant attitude in response to the Pugliese family’s distress is clearly disturbing, he isn’t inaccurate. The snakes have probably shown up in the family’s home because they are now in a space where they are being well fed. It’s not normal to have snakes in your home, even if there are exceptional stories out there where it happens. It is fairly common for rats to attract them to a property. While they are likely surviving on the vermin on the property, that won’t necessarily be enough to take care of the infestation. Also, it’s hard to imagine any of that comforts the family at all.
The state of Georgia has 46 different types of snakes. Only six of them are venomous. They are not easy to tell apart. Most people don’t want friendly reptiles dropping out of their ceilings while they’re sleeping though. Most people also don’t want bees or roaches in their home, but these are also part of the situation the Pugliese family is finding themselves in. After being told by their landlord that these problems are normal and something he thinks everyone lives with, it sounds like the family is not only looking for help but merely for someone else to say, “No, your landlord is terrible.” With the photos of the reptiles dangling from their ceiling, at least the family should be getting some vindication in others also feeling like this is a terrible situation. Hopefully, they manage to find a better living situation sometime soon.