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NYC Landlord Question: What can we do now?

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  1. buggedandconfused

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Mon Nov 23 2015 17:59:59
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    Almost a month ago, a neighbor of mine told me he had bedbugs (we aren't adjacent and don't share adjacent apartments but we are on the same floor). I called my landlord to ask what they were doing to prevent the spread of the bugs and they told me that they were treating the affected apartments, and that they do not check neighboring apartments unless the tenants are uncooperative.

    Today, I ran into the same neighbor and asked him how his treatments have been going. He said that the PCO had treated his apartment FOUR TIMES and they were still finding live bugs. This neighbor claimed that the PCO has been doing a poor job (and knows it) because our building is cheap and refuses to pay for better extermination services. He told me that he has reported this to the building but our landlord isn't considering it an infestation because they are only finding "a few bugs here and there". He also informed me that apartments on four of the six floors in our building have confirmed cases of bedbugs (it's the same unit on every floor). Two of those apartments have lodged official complaints with the city but I'm not sure if anything has happened with that.

    Here's my question: The landlord is obviously not taking proper steps to ensure the eradication of the bugs. They aren't inspecting the adjacent apartments (which I feel is almost Bedbug Rule #1). What recourse do my neighbors have? Is there something that we can do as a building to ensure that we are getting the best treatment? How can we prevent this from going any further and spreading to more apartments?

    I'm trying not to panic, but I feel like at this point I'm just waiting to find them in my apartment. If the building doesn't step up their game soon I know that it is likely to happen. I've had them before (years ago in a different building entirely) and I do not want to repeat the experience.

  2. P Bello

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Nov 25 2015 7:54:45
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    Have you called the Health Dept also?
    Are your neighbors all "together" on this issue? If so, have you contacted a local renters advocacy group?

    Have you taken any preventative steps in your unit?

    Good luck ! Pjb

  3. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 3 years ago
    Wed Nov 25 2015 9:42:42
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    If the tenant with the bed bugs is still having an issue they can call HPD and file a complaint that they have bed bugs. They will send an inspector out and if they find live free roaming bed bugs they will issue a COTA (Commissioners Order To Abate). This will also require landlord to inspect adjacent units only. And treat and inspect accordingly depending on findings. Unfortunately with colder weather upon us heat and hot water complaints get priority so they may not show up for a week or so. Please note if no live free roaming bed bugs are found a violation will probably not occur.

    For additional info in NYC I would direct you to NYC.GOV/BEDBUG and follow the links to the official DOH site.


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