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TOPIC: Bed bugs..... and hoarders......

Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5467

I just had to share this; this was the condition of a resident's unit immediately AFTER we had the Sherrif do the lockout today (see link below)... This was an 83 year old resident we had to evict because these conditions not only created health and safety concerns (notice the closet that is completely full and blocking access to an electric water heater that is somewhere in there, even knowing that she turned it off at the fuse box and it was not a fire hazard, if there were a leak; we would not know about until it was too late and mold began to grow); but these conditions made it impossible for the exterminator we hired (and spent over $20k with to resolve a bed bug issue) to not only complete the work, but it also put their 'guarantee' in jeopardy. Incidentally, there are signs of bedbug activity; which she still denies. Another thing she denied was the fact that the backup batteries in the smoke detectors were dead; when they were continually causing them to beep repeatedly..... While I was there with the Sheriff, the APS worker, and my maintenance manager (waiting for her get dressed and collect what she could, before we changed the lock).

Needless to say, we took her to court over these issues; and prevailed. She then begged and pleaded with us to change our position, after the judge agreed with us and she got help (where was this help before we had to appear in court??); which we did by way of a stipulation. This stipulation required the resident to accomplish 3 things, with or without assistance:

1) she needed to pay her back rent immediately (at the time of the agreement, she owed us 2 months' rent; now it is THREE), which she did NOT do.
2) she needed to make sure her unit was prepared so we could schedule the exterminator to return and complete the work; which she did not do.
3) she was required to keep her unit in a clean and safe condition; and allow us access to complete required inspections and maintenance.

Additionally, she was required to pay the costs of the extra treatment by the exterminator AND legal fees; on the grounds that, had she complied and the exterminator was able to complete all the work we hired them for, not only would WE have paid them, but we would not have incurred legal costs.

This agreement allowed us the right to seek immediate possession when she was not in compliance with any part of the agreement. This lockout was delayed by the (court) holidays.


www.flickr.com/photos/10032794@N06/sets/72157625625509975/


Now we have to wait the 15 days before we can dispose of whatever is left (she can come back to pick up stuff up until then; and I am not budging on the 15 days; I refuse to give her more time than the court did).

Incidentally, we also successfully evicted another household who was guilty of almost the same things. This other household left without incident; but they left behind their pests..... Or should I say pets???? We literally had to spend 3 consecutive days bombing the place before the exterminator could get out; the floor was covered in dead insects... And we had to treat the units with shared walls and the unit immediately downstairs.......
Last Edit: 3 years 3 months ago by Johnny Karnofsky.

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5505

This is just a sad story all around...

Re: Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5506

This looks like about 50% of the apartment population's homes that I have seen. This story is a good example for all of us. When we are in an apartment or our maintenance team is in an apartment and we see hoarding behavior, we have to be willing to communicate what we have seen with the resident. They have created unsafe conditions, and we need to be able to diplomatically convince the resident to clean it up, issue the 3-Day Cure and then we have to be willing to go so far as the courtroom to get a response. It is time to do what is right verses polite. Kudos to your courage!

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5512

Past experience with this issue has taught me to do Annual Inspections of every building and apartment to prevent the hoarding and housekeeping issues. Our current Maintenance Team is very diligent on reporting these issues to the office team. They don't care to work in this environment nor do they want neighbors in their buildings with these situations. We make this our business to protect maintenance and other residents from these safety concerns. When we have our "HUDDLE" meeting we discuss our last service requests for the week. The Maintenance Supervisor always accompanies me on these inspections. We are sure to send "THANK YOU" notes after every inspection to those who are complying with community policies. Those that are not we have a private talk with them. We back up with a letter giving them a week to make progress with cleaning up. We also have several maid services that are happy to come in and get these residents organized. We have never had anyone refuse our help. We have had several residents "Thank Us" for getting them on the right track. Sometimes residents just don't realize the conditions that they are living in or subjecting others too. Good Luck as these issues are very troubling. We never enjoy these scenarios! :(

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5513

Do you have documents you are willing to share for this?

Send to my email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5514

We do unit inspections monthly, beginning after the initial 30 days of occupancy. I have been shocked to hear of some of the horror stories from my district and site managers as to how bad it can get in just a short period of time. Management should be able to rely on maintenance techs to inform of any concerns they see when called in for a work order, but there are always those residents who never seem to call in a service request even if the do have repairs that should be addressed. At first some seem a little put off by the inconvenience but we present it in a way that it is a "service" we provide to catch things they may not. Most appreciate the attention they receive and it also gives us a great opportunity to connect with our residents.

Love the idea of having a maid service to offer for those who may need or want it!

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5520

After viewing the photos from this unit, it is fairly mild from a hoarding standpoint compared to many I've seen.

Based on the unit walks I've done during due diligence efforts, I believe there are major hoarders in every apartment community that doesn't explicitly train their maintenance staff to look out for these and walk each unit every 3-6 months.

Massive clutter doesn't always equate to bedbugs, but it makes it just about impossible to find them once infestation occurs. They can hid in the corrugation of a piece of cardboard and many other very small places.

The biggest risk with hoarders is fire. They should be dealt with immediately on discovery.

Here's a photo from an inspection I did in December 2010. Our bedbug dog alerted in the living room and the bedroom in this unit.



Ben Hestir

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5566

Yep....bedbugs and hoarders are a really bad combination....I have had some experience with resolving the bedbug problem....it really is an issue for large metro's....best defense is early warning and resident pro-activeness. Make your residents aware of the problem through your community newsletter and you will decrease your expenses associated with these pests.

Bedbugs have shutdown theatres...5-star hotels...and entire dorms.....as a community we can be aware of the issue and shut it down before it gets crazy. 20K? Whew! I'd rather kill 'em myself first!

Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5598

As someone with over ten years of property management experience, I can attest the hazards of this phenomena. Fortunately, for so many of us in the industry, the new reality series(on A&E and TLC) are helping the public in general to realize how dangerous this situation is. I recall one very unfortunate situation (garbage, pests, stuff piled up past the windows and the smell) which was only made worse by the family members who swore that I was the one being unreasonable.

We never performed "unit inspections" at my properties by the way. But twice a year we had mandatory "preventative maintenance" that was not an option for the residents.


Shalise
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Re:Bed bugs..... and hoarders...... 3 years 3 months ago #5604

Bed bug dog? Seriously? I don't exactly know how I feel about that... :S
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