A. P. on 02/26/2013
We moved into a rental suite at 550 pacific st. It is a multi-storey apartment complex.
Two weeks after moving into the suite we found a bed bug crawling up one of our legs (January 30th 2013). We captured it and sent a picture to a pest control company, (Carepest) to determine if this was in fact a bed bug. (We had never seen one before!)
A day later we personally paid for Carepest do a k-9 sweep of the apartment. They found beg bug hits on the floor boards near the bedroom closet and o
n one of our boxes in the living room.
In talking to the inspector, he mentioned that it would take 2 business days to get them in to do the fumigation. (They inspected on friday and suggested the following tuesday as a possible treatment date.)
That week we bought bed bug bed frame and mattress covers. At one of the mattress retail stores all of their covers were sold out all across the vancouver lower mainland.
It took the rental property management company 2.5 weeks to get Carepest in to fumigate the apartment. By this time the Carepest employee doing the treatment found more hits along the back our dresser, indicating that they had spread. They fumigated and treated the baseboards on two separate days, each a week apart, and had the k-9 unit inspect the place between treatments. The second k-9 unit found another hit in the baseboards on the other side of the bedroom closet.
Apparently none of the surrounding other apartments had bedbug activity.
We have not had bedbugs before in any of our previous apartments and the rental property management company claims the previous tenants had no bed bug activity either. Thus the bugs must have been transferred to the apartment from the either truck we rented to move our stuff, the painters that painted the apt before we moved in, or the during the previous tenants move-out.
The rental management company have accused us of bringing in the bed bugs on our personal stuff, and have charged us the treatment cost.
We have already paid over $450 in direct costs which includes initial K-9 inspection, bed bug covers, and extra tupperware containers required for preparation of the apartment. With the treatment charge we will have paid over $1000, not to mention the in-direct costs in time off work, staying elsewhere during the fumigation, etc.
We are currently exploring our options. We feel that we are not 100% responsible for the bedbugs as there is some uncertainty as to how they were transferred into the apartment, and that we acted quickly and prepared the apartment to maximize the treatment; even the fumigator mentioned in his report that our prep. was really good.
Current advice from a arbitration advisor is that if there is no negligence on the part of the tenant, then generally the decision will be against the landlord/property manager. It will cost $50 to file and we can represent ourselves or pay for a lawyer. If the landlord uses a lawyer and wins the case, the landlord's lawyers fees will not be passed onto the tenant.
This has been a very frustrating experience, both with the issue of bed bugs but also with the rental management company who is slow in responding and appears to be fighting us the whole way. Not once during the two treatments did the rental management company contact us, even to simply see how things were going.
I do not wish this situation on any friend or foe.
We have found the pest control company "Carepest" very easy and comfortable to deal with and the one positive aspect of this whole experience. We would recommend them to anyone.