Bedbugs, illegal lease clause


My litter sister, Stephanie Snyder, is renting from the Alameda Apartments in Lakewood. She signed the lease with her fiancé on June 16, 2008; they moved in together with their three year old. Since they moved in, she has had abnormal skin irritations and been very fatigued. She has been really sick for the last six months with a rash covering her body. The doctors have given her antihistamines and told her they were insect bites. Two weeks ago, she saw a bedbug on the bed. With further inspection, she found many; she even caught some in a jar. The neighbor said that the last tenant had moved out because of bedbugs, and the dumpster for the apartment complex regularly has a mattress in it. The manager of the apartment complex told her when she moved in that the room had been treated three years ago for “pests” and, without any prompting, assured her there was no bedbug problem. She didn’t think much of this until two weeks ago when the infestation was noticed.

My sister threw away their mattress and verbally told the manager that she found bedbugs on February 27. The manager accused her of bringing them and told my sister, “I saw that mattress you threw away and it was covered with them; I have pictures!” This is the first apartment Stephanie and her family have rented, since moving out from my mom’s. There are no bugs at my mom’s house. The manager called Terminix to come and inspect the apartment, a man came out on Saturday, March 7. The apartment has some sort of contract with this company to do pest control. The man determined that there was no problem, that “there were no signs of bed bugs.” He however still sprayed the premises. Terminix is scheduled to come out again on the seventeenth for a follow up inspection (and I am confident that they will conclude there is no infestation). Yesterday, March 9, my sister went back to the apartment to check it, and found live bugs inside still. The manager had a maintenance employee hand Stephanie bill for the March rent, a late fee, and the pest control costs.

They had a six month lease which expired on January 31, 2009. After the lease term, all clauses of the lease are still in full effect and goes onto a month-to-month basis. There is a clause in the lease that states “There is no implied covenant of quite enjoyment or warranty of habitability of the apartment associated with this lease.” Which under the new law, passed September 1, 2008, is an illegal clause; since the lease renewed on February 1, 2009, she should be entitled to the warranty of habitability.

My sister wrote a letter to the management on March 9, 2009; the letter informed them that there are still live bugs in the apartment, that they are in breach of the lease contract and requested that their damaged belongings be replaced. My sister feels that they have been defrauded into even signing the lease when they moved in; the management has known about this infestation and has not taken adequate measures to control it. Pam Miller has compromised with the exterminator, denied important information to tenants regarding their health, and lies about the situation in order to avoid responsibility. My sister has hired a second exterminator, at her expense, to come out and inspect the apartment complex; they will arrive tomorrow, March 11, 2009, around 11:00 A.M. I don’t believe the manager is justified in demanding rent payment, late charges, and the pest control fees when they deny my sister a habitable environment. The failure to rid the apartment of bedbugs is a denial of essential services; they are attempting to get around this fact by hiring exterminators who will “find no bedbugs” at their explicit request.

Jennifer Evans


Alameda Apartments

Property Manager: Pam Miller

9423 W. Alameda Ave.

Lakewood, CO, 80226


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Edited on: Monday, December 6th, 2010 10:30 pm
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