Calling the Health Department(4 posts)
I am at the point where I feel I need to speak with someone at the Health Department can anyone please let me know what Branch of this department is the one I should call?
Terminix already reported the infestation to them and now I have some questions on landlord tenant rights specific to what I am dealing with, possible breach of verbal contract, and finally the LL stated that if the bldg. is inspected in 2 weeks and there are still bed bugs then the Health Dept will condemn the building and he will have to empty it which I think is not true but I want to have them confirm for me before I say anything to the LL. There was nothing I could do to avoid infestation as the downstairs neighbors had them and did nothing for 6 months and not the LL expects that we should take care of this ourselves. I was told the Pco would be paid for and now they are backing out.
I even requested that the LL call KillerQueen as it would be useful in understanding what we are dealing with and he couldn't be bothered so not it's time for me to start getting firm here with the next step being the Health Dept. I believe
I would just call the main health department number in your municipality. I would not initially give them your name or address. Tell them that you have some questions about bug infestations and rental properties and you want to know who to talk to.
My health department was not helpful, but yours might be.
Also, consider contacting your version of a tenants' rights organization. They have different names in different places. But they might be more up to date. If the ones in your state don't hae any info, ask them if they could contact their counterparts in Boston, as I've seen a number of posts from Boston people here and I know that that city has had a surge in bed bug issues lately.
Let us know what you find out. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Hang in there.
My Health Department was not helpful at all. It took several calls before they would even let me speak to someone in the Health Department, and that person wouldn't talk to me but instead said I had to talk to the nurse. The nurse told me that bedbugs were not a known health risk. End of story. She had nothing else to offer me.
I think it would have been better to put it in writing to the Health Department, because maybe I could have copied the letter to the town paper or something. I'm still smarting. I had never called the Health Department before in my life and they basically dismissed me when I needed them the most. They didn't even offer a fact sheet or suggest a "next step" I could do. Why should they? "Bedbugs are not a known health risk" according to them.
I found a fact sheet on bedbugs on the Dept of Health Website for New Hampshire.
The fact sheet mentions:
For specific concerns about bed bugs, call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Communicable Disease Control Section at 603-271-4496 or 800-852-3345 x4496.
As per the posts above, stay anonymous at first, or put them on notice that you expect your call to be strictly confidential. You may indeed have to push to get more information from them. Often, one part of an organization thinks it knows everything, but then it turns out that there is more information elsewhere in the organization.
Also, call around for your Tenant's rights information.
Once again, good luck.
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