Iowa tenants will proceed with class action suit against landlord

by nobugsonme on May 11, 2013 · 5 comments

in bed bug lawsuits, bed bugs, Des Moines, Iowa, landlords, landlords vs. tenants, lawsuits, legal, multi-unit buildings, tenants

Remember the low income, elderly, and disabled tenants of Elsie Mason Manor and Ligutti Tower in Des Moines, Iowa, who said they lived with bed bugs without treatment for more than two years?

In fact, tenants claimed there was no bed bug treatment until they filed a lawsuit.

We first told you about their story back in 2010, when they filed a class action suit against their landlord. The tenants cited “unconscionable and substandard living conditions” and wanted the landlord to provide immediate treatment for residents, and to disclose the presence of bed bugs to prospective tenants.

And it was said the class (representing about 300 current and former tenants) would seek as much as $7.4 million, “in reimbursement for pain and suffering, rent overcharges and replacement of infested belongings.”

In 2011, the judge initially certified the class, a ruling which was later challenged. And now, according to the Des Moines Register, the class action will finally be headed to Polk County District Court for trial.

You may also be interested in our list of bed bug lawsuits.

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1 BugginInBrooklyn May 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I’m a recent bedbug victim in Brooklyn. Over the past week I had noticed mysterious bites on my body, at first isolated and then in clusters. After doing some research, and because I live in NYC I confirmed it was most likely bedbugs, although there was not a single bug in my room. However, I expressed my concern to my roommates and upon inspection we found the infestation in one of their rooms, clearly had been in there for a while because there was a good amount, however he had no signs of bites. In the other room looked not a single bug like mine, and she had no bites either.

We IMMEDIATELY notified our landlord (yesterday) and he was NOT happy. He agreed to get professional help immediately, and cover the costs, but this morning on the phone was being completely irrational and telling me that we needed to throw out every last one of our belongings, pieces of clothing, and furniture. He self-admittedly had never dealt with this before, and therefore I think he was unsure of the facts and procedures. After the exterminator came by he confirmed we could MOST DEFINITELY have everything treated, and treat our clothes in the washer/dryer… The landlord is still arguing and even said he wants us to move out after the fumigation because he thinks we’re going to bring them back, and the fumigation is too expensive to keep doing. HELLO WE DIDN’T ASK FOR THEM AND WE’RE ALL DISGUSTED AND WILLING TO DO ANYTHING TO GET RID OF THEM, ME ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I’M THE ONLY ONE SHOWING BITES.

We are on a month-to-month lease, but I feel that this is an unfair reason to ask us to move out, this is NYC and this has been a HUGE issue in our particular neighborhood of Brooklyn over the past 2 years. This is an isolated incident, we have lived here three years and never had a single problem and have been paying our rent on time, and don’t think we should be penalized for this as they could have come from ANYWHERE. The exterminator seemed confident they could be rid of after one treatment, and hasn’t even had a chance to investigate the other units of the building, so we’re automatically being blamed.

Has anyone else had an experience like this? Do we have a case to fight eviction or is this a viable reason to kick someone out?! I’m most concerned because we have a really good deal on our unit, so having to move will result in AT LEAST a +$200/person or cause us to move further out into a much smaller space. PLEASE HELP!!!

2 nobugsonme May 14, 2013 at 1:26 am

Hi BuggininBrooklyn,

I posted your questions on our active user forum. Please follow this link to go there and log in (you need to log in again, but your username and password from this end of the site work there):

http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/buggininbrooklyns-questions

I think you’ll get a lot more feedback there — and I ask everyone who is on this side of the site and wants to respond, please also follow the link!

Thanks!

3 2 Clara July 30, 2013 at 11:45 am

I am going through this right now., in Iowa. Have to go to court this Friday. This building is infested and landlord has known about this for about a year. Did not inform tenants, but when you get them they want you to pay or you get evicted, blaming you for the problem. Unfair to tenants, Who can I call to get help I have lost almost everything, and I have been waiting 10 days and they have not sprayed yet. HELP

4 nobugsonme July 31, 2013 at 9:49 am

Hi 2 Clara,

Sorry you are suffering with bed bugs and not getting prompt help from your landlord.

I recommend calling a tenants’ rights organization in your local area and asking them how to proceed. In many cities/counties, there is an agency that conducts housing inspections (usually overseen by the housing dept. or health dept.). Having an inspector come out and create a record of the problem can sometimes help.

Please come to our forums if you would like further support or have additional questions.

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