Within 2 months of moving into the property, my roommates and I started noticing bug bites on our arms and legs. We used an at-home treatment for ‘common household pests’ assuming that maybe spiders or fleas were part of the problem. Six months later we were still getting bit and at that point discovered a full-blown bed bug infestation in every room of the house. When we reported the issue to our landlord their immediate reaction was to say it was a ‘new’ infestation and therefore we
were responsible for the $2395 bill.
After consulting two different pest control companies we found out that the house had been treated for bed bugs at least three separate times within the past year. The most recent treatment was on December 19, 2008 and my roommates and I unknowingly moved in on December 20, 2008. On this occasion they also only treated (3) bedrooms of our 5-bedroom house. Both companies told us this partial treatment would probably not have been sufficient, especially since the rooms were connected with wall-to-wall carpet. We contacted the previous tenants and found out that they paid twice for bed bug exterminations (since the landlord refused) but soon gave up and moved out of the house.
The unfortunate part is that we are all young professionals, and do not have the funds to hire an attorney and take the issue to court. We have been turned away by the health department several times—despite a rodent problem that is also due in part to our landlord’s negligence. We keep hearing that since it’s a single-family home there is nothing they can do to help. None of the four roommates are currently living in the house, but our bug-ridden furniture and belongings remain.
While we’re frustrated with our situation and are losing hope that we’ll ever be compensated for the personal belongings we have to throw out, we’re mostly afraid that once we move out our landlord is going to re-let the house to some other unsuspecting tenants. It’s no wonder that the bed bug problem is so bad in Cincinnati. We wouldn’t have moved in in the first place had we known about the problem. Also, had our landlord cautioned us we could have recognized the signs and dealt with it in February, long before it ever got this bad!