Co-op Owner in Bkyln -- Next Steps with Rest of Co-op(3 posts)
We first noticed bed bugs in May 2008 and have been battling them on and off since that time. We are very comfortable with our PCO and we HAD gone 60+ without any bites; however, we've noticed bites on our children in the past few days. Needless to say, we are very very upset with the situation.
Until now, we've been trying to deal with this on our own -- We are one of eight units in an eight unit co-op in Brooklyn. We own our place and we are attached on either side to similar buildings. Given that all of our measures have not eliminated the bugs, we have to believe that they exist in other apartments in our buildings. So we want to get a sense of our rights before we speak to the other co-op owners. Our fear is that our co-op tries to hold us accountable -- but the units above, below and beside us have owners that all travel extensively for work in and out of the country. As all of you know, there's just no way to know where the bugs started, but now we feel we need to get the co-op on board and address this collectively. Has anyone else been through this and have any advice? We are also concerned about future resale value of our apartment...Thanks for any advice you can share.
It’s irrelevant where they came from. I have treated a bunch of co-ops before and have a 280 unit complex under contract now. The realty/management company pay me for my services. I would imagine they are responsible where you live also. The only way to solve this correctly is to have a knowledgeable Pest Management company address the problem with them from the start.
I understand what you mean about future re-sale of your coop. I own as well and this concerns me, however, what I think you need to impress upon your fellow coop owners (when you get to that point) is that the problem is growing immensely every day, every month, every year, and it seems soon will be extremely common instead of just pretty common.
A coop can protect the owners' investments by dealing with this problem the right way - with a good PCO, good practices such as inspection of units below and side to side, EDUCATION such as every owner inspecting their sleeping area once a month (like one of the PCOs on this forum does, since he knows he is continually being exposed)
In terms of re-sale, I suspect that pretty soon, bedbug K-9 inspections are going to become a common part of the purchase process in NYC. Also, as a buyer, the question of how the coop management is going to handle an infestation should it occur -- will be a very important question to ask during the purchase process.
It's really important that you tell your fellow coop neighbors so that inspections can be done in their units. Don't accept blame for bringing them into the building - first of all, no one can say for sure where they came from and second, even if you did bring them in, you didn't do it on purpose, and you are treating the problem (with the exception being that you didn't tell your neighbors, which is an important part of treating.)
Another thing you might want to look at is whether you could be being re-infested by an outside source like your child's childcare provider or school or your workplace.
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