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Should I Move to Brooklyn Building on the Registry?

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  1. brooklynapthunt

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Aug 7 2010 16:44:14
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    Hello!
    I recently applied for a apartment in Brooklyn. To scope out the building, I did a quick google search, and it appears that there are some apartments with bedbug issues. I confirmed this with the NYC HPD website that lists 5 complaints in different apartments from Sept 2009-Jan 2010. It is a large multidwelling building with several towers, and the majority of the complaints are in one particular tower (not where the apt i applied for is located).

    Putting on my investigator cap I typed in the address in the white pages to see if i could find contact info for current tenants, whom i then facebooked. I've been chatting with one woman who has lived in the building for 3 years with out a problem, who has friends in two separate apts in the building who also have not had an issue.

    I really love the building, the apt, the neighborhood, etc. The apartment was recently renovated with new floors, fixtures, etc, and the broker explained that the past tenant broke her lease to move in with her future husband. It looks clean and the building well-kept. When I questioned the broker he explained that it was not the first time he had been asked about bed bugs, and that someone else he helped find an apt in the building for an Aug 1 2010 move-in had questioned it as well, and the broker went to the management co. He was told that there was one complaint promptly dealt with, and that they also recently renovated the basement laundry facilities. This story does not line up with the info on HPD, but I can't fault the broker for not knowing that there has been more than 1 complaint.

    I would appreciate any advice for what to do in the situation. I've only put down about $100 thus far for the application. Should I run from this building, or go forward with the lease?

    Should I ask for anything? For example, should I ask for a letter in writing stating that if we do get bedbugs that we will be allowed to break the lease? Should I ask for how the building handled the bedbug problems in the past?

    Any insight is greatly appreciated!

  2. cilecto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Aug 7 2010 18:02:04
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    HPD records, IIRC, are for complaints that were not resolved satisfactorily. Is there more info in the HPD record to indicate if the issue was resolved? Do the registry comments merely indicate an occurrence, or also mismanagement or disregard by the landlord?

    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night...
    - Psalms 91:5-7

    (Not an pro)
  3. brooklynapthunt

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Aug 7 2010 20:22:46
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    Thank you for that clarification cilecto.

    I'm not sure what all these terms mean, but i've copied what the HCD records indicate below. I'm not sure where to look to see if these issues have been resolved.

    For the most recent bedbug complaint to HCD from January 2010 for a specific apt, it indicates 'The Department of Housing Preservation and Development inspected the following conditions. No violations were issued. The complaint has been closed.'

    For the second most recent, in Nov 2009, the filer made complaints re: their apt & the entire building. For the specific apt, 'The Department of Housing Preservation and Development was unsuccessful in its attempt to inspect for the condition(s). The complaint has been closed. If the condition(s) still exists, please file a new complaint.' No new complaint was filed.

    For the whole apt, 'The Department of Housing Preservation and Development inspected the following conditions. No violations were issued. The complaint has been closed.'

    Oct 2009 - different apt, HPD could not gain access.

    Oct 2009 - another apt, HPD did gain access, and issued violation for bedbugs.
    Under the 'Open Violation' link, it states under Violation that '§ 27-2018 adm code abate the nuisance consisting of vermin bedbugs in the entire apartment located at apt 5l, 5th story, 1st apartment from east at south ' . NOV date is 2009/10/01, Owner certification date is 2009/11/19.

    Sept 2009 - another apt issued violation for 'entire building', HPD did gain access, and issued violation for bedbugs. Under 'Open Violation', it states '§ 27-2018 adm code abate the nuisance consisting of vermin (bedbugs) located at apt 6t, 6th story, 1st apartment from south at west'. NOV date is 2009/09/24 and Owner certification is 2009/11/12.

    In Open Violations, there is also indication that a complaint was filed in 5-2008, but NOV 'no access 1/07/2009', and owner certification 2008/03/25.

    From the Registry:

    January 2009 (not listed in HCD)
    bedbugs! Still treating. ugh

    for Apt 5l (listed in HCD Oct 2009)
    "I have just been notified that apartment 5L, which was just emptied has bedbugs. The building is treating the problem but it appears that the situation is spreading into other units. Others have found one or two, so hopefully if the building mgt. steps up to the plate, the problem will get under control."

    In Dec 2009 -
    "I live here at [redacted] and I can agree that we have a bed bug plague in the building and little to nothing is being done about it unfortunately. They live inside the wooden floorboards so I don't see any quick fix to this problem unless they do like they did during the last bed bug plague in new York (especifically the Bronx during the 50's), which would be to TNT the building down lol. Anyways, you can keep them in check with strong alcohol and being consistent . I happen to know the poster from above that lives in 4f, so this basically confirms it. We need help, the superintendant of the building who's name is [redacted] doesn't bother coming even though I have written him numerous letters and gone to get him directly , I called the building department and they will come and inspect one of these days. Good grief. "

    Dec 2009, 6th floor (probably 6t)
    "6th Fl Back of the Building. We started noticing bites about mid-summer 2009. They had infected our bed, closet and a laptop which was kept near the bed. We tried to handle the situation ourselves, with pesticides and steaming to no avail. We then called in the landlord for help. A professional exterminator visited twice. The first time, they seemed much reduced. But after the second visit they seem to be back on the increase. Currently we kill 2 or 3 every other day both adults and nymphs."

    From May 2010
    "The problem is getting worse bedbug are running free and the tenant association are doing nothing and the super is no help the The apartment in the T line they all are infected even the new apartment has bedbug"
    .
    .
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    The Registry seems to be a mix of, 'we tried to fix it ourselves before contacting super, and then super helped', and hearsay from tenants, some of who know those who have bedbugs indicating that management is not responsive.

    Thoughts?

  4. MyWorstFear

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sat Aug 7 2010 22:39:42
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    RUN while you can! From the complaints you posted, the management and super aren't even responding to the tenants let alone doing anything about the problem. Why would you want to move into a place like that, bed bugs or no bed bugs? Was the apartment renovated AFTER the so called tenant who broke her lease to move into her future husband's place, or before? I wonder if she didn't break her lease because she found bed bugs. If you read the FAQ's on this website, you will see that CLEAN has nothing to do with whether or not you can get bed bugs. Also, a lot of people don't react to the bites, so in those cases, the people aren't even aware that they have bed bugs. If you read some of the posts on this website, losing a $100. deposit is mere pennies compared to what you might end up spending trying to get rid of bed bugs.

  5. brooklynapthunt

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 8 2010 11:09:06
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    I'm trying to be as objective as possible, and realize that the internet does not always contain the truth. I've been speaking to an actual person who lives in the building, who has not had an issue, as well as two of her friends who have moved in...I'm trying to figure out which evidence weighs more...

  6. Beth

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 8 2010 12:37:03
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    No.

    Just No.

    You will live to regret it.

  7. bugbuffet

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 8 2010 13:34:11
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    If you were being objective you would take the hard evidence, the reports, and never move into that building. You are not being objective by letting your love of the building and all that comes with it sway your judgment. Bed bugs are practically everywhere in NYC right now, so to move somewhere that has known cases is definitely not advisable.

  8. SleeplessInSalem

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 8 2010 13:47:51
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    I have to say, from a personal opinion, that the people responding on here are right. My problem started because ONE person in the apartment building 2 floors above me had them, and they made it down to my apartment but no one else is reporting them. Your Facebook friend and her friends might just not have seen them, I went 2 months without knowing that the "hives" I had were bedbug bites, and my boyfriend had NO SIGNS OF BITES AT ALL. And he sleeps next to me every night. Something like 50% of the population show no signs of bites at all. And we only saw the first bug after months of heartache. It is VERY likely that these people have BBs and don't even know it. Trust me, no apartment, no matter how nice is worth the extremely likely aggravation, stress, and illness from lack of sleep that begins once you become infested. Please take our advice and look for a place that has no history of the buggers. NYC is going to be tough, but with proper research and advance preparation to keep them out, you can be bug free (proud to be!)

  9. SleeplessInSalem

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 8 2010 13:50:43
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    Oh! Also, if you tell them that since they were not upfront about the history of bed bugs in the building, and you would like your rental app deposit back, you just may get it. If not, you could consider telling them that you are prepared to share the information of the bed bugs... That just might scare them a bit if you are worried enough about getting that money back.

  10. DeedleBeetle

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Aug 8 2010 14:21:45
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    Ohhh...i'm just not sure...

    For instance..take my building for instance. I love my buildling. It's in a great neighborhood and it has all the things i need like indoor parking, terrace, big rooms, sufficient space, etc. As i related here, i had at least one bed bug and carpet beetle larvae. the people upstairs from me and below me have had moderate infestations of bbs. I know that others in the building have had bbs. But i don't hate living here. i still love my apartment and my buildling and the neighborhood. And as long as my landlord is as reponsive as they were to my problem and are as successful in treating the place if i have problems in the future, then i'll continue to enjoy living here...especially since, as people have said above, the bb problem is city-wide. Where are you going to find an apartment that is bb free or resistent? It ain't gonna happen, me thinks.

    So i say that what i would do is get a PCO and really do a deep down inspection of all the hardwood floors, etc. And then, be careful that in the process of moving you do not pick up bbs in the moving van or on the clothing of the guys who are moving you! I would say there is a great risk of picking up bbs during the actual move!

  11. zomgbbs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 9 2010 9:21:58
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    i wouldn't do it...

    this is my second apartment in a row with bedbugs... in my last building, in the same neighborhood which i adore, they started out on the 6th floor. i thought i was fine... it was only a matter of months til they made their way down to me (2nd floor and opposite side of bldng).

    in my current apt, it appears my next door neighbors had it, got treated, and the bugs just migrated to me. i let my neighbor on the other side know that i am getting treated today, so they can be prepared.

    my building is gigantic, like 200 units, and it appears the bugs have only been recorded on my side, but i feel like i can't bring myself to look other building dwellers in the eye, i try to tell them telepathically to stay away from me and my laundry...

    point being, why intentionally put yourself in that situation where you're just waiting for them to come to you?

  12. zomgbbs

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 9 2010 9:23:14
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  13. soscared

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 9 2010 11:22:39
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    I would suggest bringing a good dog company to sniff out the empty apt you applied for. See if they let you do that. I used Action Pest in NJ and was satisfied with their dog Sara. I thought she was great. I also used A&C Exterminating for a K9 inspection recently, and their dog found nothing. The dogs come from 2 different schools of dogs, not sure which is better. If you do go with K9, MAKE SURE THAT THEY LOCATE THE BUGS if the dog alerts. They sometimes get false positives. That said., they might alert to something hidden in the walls, etc.

  14. soscared

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 9 2010 11:23:33
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    I meant to say A&C's dog was good too. We were cleared already, and their dog confirmed it. I am just crazy and need multiple inspections to feel safer.


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