JS on 01/07/2011
I lived in a second-floor unit in this apartment home (i.e. a big house divided up into apartments) from August 2006 to August 2007. It was infested with bed bugs the whole time and I don't advise you to live there.
I went to see that apartment in the Spring of 2006. It was shown to me by the owner at the time--a well-to-do man who owns eyecare centers in Columbus and the surroudning suburbs. The rent was really cheap and it was close to Ohio State Campus, hence my interest.
The owner, D
r. R, was there when I moved in (we had to bring my bed up from the first floor stairwell as the external stairwell was too narrow). I slept with my matress and box spring on the floor in my prior residence (my mom's house) and I was just dandy. When I put them down on the floor, his eyes nearly jumped out of his head. I supposed he thus reacted because it was unseemly to do that. Little did I know.
Over the next couple of weeks, I started getting red marks all over my body. I was also waking up sneezing with a really bad runny nose. I didn't know what was going on and just thought I had a rash of some sort and allergies to the new environment.
Then a girl who lives down the hall comes and asks me if I have readied my apartment for the exterminator who was set to come tomorrow. For what? I asked. She said that the several units in the apartment home were infested with bedbugs. That's when I put two and two together.
The first-floor unit in the front of the house was the most affected. The girls who lived there endured absolute hell! I talked to them and they had trapped several of them. You could go into their apartment and see them crawling between the wood slats on the floor. Yuck! These girls moved out. I got one's number and kept in contact with her in case I needed her to be a witness at a civil action against Dr. R.
The exterminator came four times for the year that I lived there and it didn't work. I took all the standard precautions (mattress covers, laundering my clothes on high heat, etc.). I ended up putting my rent in escrow. Dr. R sued me to have it released. His position was that the unit didn't have bedbugs and that, even if it did, he did all Ohio law required of him. The girl who used to live in unit 1 testified on my behalf. Like myself, she showed graphic pictures of how the bedbugs had eaten her alive. Although we lost the case (Ohio law is not renter-friendly), I was proud of us for standing up to this wealthy yet dishonest man.
The story is that the eye doctor inherited the property from his dad. He had rented it out for like two decades without incident. Then he let Indian immigrants (who were OSU students) move in and that was it. They moved out, and left their bedbugs with them. The aforementioned girls moved in and, you know how the story goes.
Living at 197 W 8th AV was easily one of the worst years of my life. Although it is possible that they are no longer there, I would not bank on it. They are hardy little blood suckers and they know how to survive. I guess the place has now been converted into a 8-room house for rent. I feel sorry for the people who move in there.