Man attempting to break lease after finding dozens of scorpions at north Phoenix apartment

Posted at 4:42 PM, Jun 21, 2017

He dresses up as Spiderman to cheer up sick kids in the hospital, but now he has a bug problem of his own.

Christian Costanzo says he’s had it with what he calls a scorpion infestation at his north Phoenix apartment near 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.

"When my girlfriend got stung, that was kind of the end of the line for us,” said Constanzo. “We went in and we told him about it and they just sort of laughed it off, saying oh well its Arizona."

Christian says his girlfriend was stung two weeks ago as she was in bed. She was stung on her arm, but didn’t suffer a severe reaction.

The couple brought their concerns to apartment management and there was immediate action.

"They came, they sprayed around, and nothing really changed after that. I kept seeing scorpions,” said Costanzo.

To prove his point, Christian grabbed a black light, a pair of forceps and a mason jar and went on the hunt.

He says within a 30-minute span, he nabbed more than 30 scorpions hanging out just outside his apartment.

Christian provided ABC15 pictures of scorpions that have made it inside in the past. He estimates he’s killed or captured at least 14 inside his unit since he moved in six months ago.

"I would like to break my lease, this is just too many scorpions to deal with," said Costanzo.

ABC15 contacted apartment management. A regional manager says the Latitude Apartment and Condominium property is sprayed once a month by a professional pest control company. The manager explained that they've only received one complaint about residents.

The manager said he's unsure where the scorpions are coming from, but says it is not an infestation.

The complex did not address Christian’s viral Facebook post directly, only adding “the corporate office was handling it.”

Lease experts say Christian might have a legal leg to stand on to break his lease.

Here’s some tips provided by Arizona Tenant Advocates:
Document everything and submit problems to landlords or management in writing. Typically, they have five days or less to respond to problems, like scorpions.

If all else fails, look for specific “buyout” clause within the lease to break the contract or get a lawyer in involved.

The Arizona Tenant Advocates have a step by step process available here for a fee.