omg, my horrible landlord refuses to acknowledge BBs(9 posts)
AAAAAAAGHHGHGHGHGHGHG must vent.
so, we decided not to move, and now i am quetioning that decision bc our landlord has been such an ass. despite the fact that we have caught and saved a BB for proof, that we paid for a canine inspection ourselves and confirmed BBs, and we have been getting bit, our landlord in williamsburg, brooklyn refuses to believe that we have bedbugs. (these are the same guys that send a clueless technician from Pestaway who didn't examine anything, asked US where he should spray, and told us that we could be in the apartment with the Suspend) we argued tooth and nail to even get the first spray, and now, two weeks later, they are trying to avoid having us get a second treatment by saying that "the exterminator didn't see any signs of bed bugs."
it's amazing how much they just want to put a clamp on the problem -- like if they make it hard enough for us, then maybe we'll just forget about it or stop asking about it? meanwhile, they have taken down signs i put up in common areas to tell other neighbors that they probably want to get inspected. i have now slid notes under people's doors -- i've been trying to knock, but we live in a building of nearly all hasidic families, and they don't readily open the door to me or my husband. some other friends of mine who have suffered from building-wide infestations have gotten landlord response by getting all tenants together on board with a petition, but it's been really hard getting traction in such an insular community -- even just to ask them to inspect or beware! and i've been in this building 4 years!
i feel so defeated and angry. at any rate, we are withholding rent and now going to go with our own PCO and take it out of our rent, since our landlord refuses to acknowledge/deal with the problem. we were planning leave NY in the next year anyways, so we've taken the BB incident as an opportunity to throw stuff out (watching our neighbors dumpster dive in our sealed airtight garbage -- yet another gripe/defeat), packtite the heck out of everything, and seal it into sealed rubber tubs. it's like, i can kind of deal with gettign dressed every morning in the kitchen out of a ziploc bag. but really?? my landlord can't pay for a single stupid secondary treatment? those jerks. sigh.
That's horrible! Bad enough you have to deal with bed bugs, let alone the rest of it. Have you tried calling 311 to report it? If I were you, I'd also list the building on the Bed Bug Registry. Maybe that will push the landlord into getting proper treatment. I wish you the best of luck. Just to be safe, check with a lawyer about withholding rent, because you might have to make a formal complaint or something so that you don't get evicted.
Not surprising that a LL would deny and stall. IN NYC, all they need to do is prove that they paid a PCO. Besides, not a lot of people really know what they're doing, so LL is also likely to be somewhat in the dark.
WRT to your neighbors. This is a community that's very social, lot's of kids and seniors, people always at each other's homes, worshiping together in crowded synagogues 3 times a day, 7 days a week. BBs are potentially, a "disaster in the making", or OTOH, "c'est la vie". Also very image conscious, so all sorts of problems can get swept under the rug. On the bright side, the community is "wired" for "mutual aid", as such could co-ordinate action better than, perhaps, other communities. (BTW, I grew up in a similar community.)
That said, they are suspicious of "others" and do not like being directed "from the outside" (consider the ruckus over the Kent Ave. bike lane).
You probably need to look after your own needs. Best of luck.
If you ever need a referral to a PCO "of the community" PM me . I know one who's really nice (can't vouch for his work, LOL).
I'm kind of surprised at your experience with PAW. Years back NY Magazine rated them "best green exterminator". KQ is probably getting ready with a response.
MyWorstFear -- i have most definitely already put the building on the registry, and am preparing to call 311. i was going to send an official letter via certified mail to our landlord, but lo and behold, i don't have their address and they are nowhere to be found online. (we always just slide a rent check under a door.) i'm not concerned about being evicted, as we are by far the highest-paying and most reliable tenants they have. i think they just don't care about the building.
Cilecto -- totally agree with you on the community. it's been really difficult -- i mean, my neighbors won't shake my hand the men can't even look at me, so how can we have conversations about this? my gut tells me the building has most definitely had BBs before, and nobody spoke to anyone about it but dealt with it themselves.
as far as Pestaway goes, it's been a very disappointing experience, and not at all surprising given that they were hired by my landlord and our landlord **always** goes with the cheapest possible band-aid fix. same has been true for all of the other maintenance that needs to be done in our building, so it doesn't surprise me that Pestaway has been disappointing. we did get a second spray, where he used a higher concentration of Suspend. the second guy seemed a bit more thorough (we asked Pestaway for a more experience technician) but again he didn't inspect or ask to see our bug samples. he simply flipped the bed frame over, sprayed all over the floors and baseboards, and we asked him to do our living room and bathroom as well. when we complained to Pestaway that their first technician didn't know that Suspend was toxic for us, she responded with, "well that's why we write it in the preparation sheet." the whole treatment takes maybe 10 minutes, and then they expect you to do all the followup work -- Bedlam and another pesticide that you spray yourselves every few days. and yet their pricing is the same as other PCOs in new york that offer thorough inspections, wall treatments, dusting, a variety of pesticides, and 3 to 6-month guarantees.
i would not recommend Pestaway to anyone suffering from BBs.
DistressInBrooklyn - 4 minutes ago »
the whole treatment takes maybe 10 minutes, and then they expect you to do all the followup work -- Bedlam and another pesticide that you spray yourselves every few days. and yet their pricing is the same as other PCOs in new york that offer thorough inspections, wall treatments, dusting, a variety of pesticides, and 3 to 6-month guarantees.
i would not recommend Pestaway to anyone suffering from BBs.
10 to 15 minute treatments with no inspection is laughable if it wasn't so sad. Sounds like typical baseboard jockeys. Making you guys do follow up like that is just damn lazy.
spideyjg -- agreed. i think they just got some media attention that snowballed in the early days of BBs, and so are now very popular.
Definitely call 311. Lanlord's name and address can be looked up via NYC.gov. Go to the Dept. of Finance site. Two part process; you need to look up the building's block number, then use that to get the building's file. Note that some LLs routinely ignore certified letters. Also, weigh the time you spend being Norma Rae or Erin Brockovich vs. the time you need to defend your own turf.
cilecto - thanks for the tips. and yes, i'm feeling very norma rae-ish!
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