We have medical problems and bed bugs can we get out of our lease?

By Jeanne

My name Is Jeanne and there are bed bugs in my bed.

My husband and I moved from Londonderry, NH to Concord to start our new life together on May 1st, 2011. We got married on May 22nd and things were wonderful, for a very short time. We moved into a beautiful apartment at Parkview on Loudon Rd in Concord. It had just been redone by the condo owner. It has a Jacuzzi tub, big open spaces and large windows for the sun to come in. I was in love. Little did we know what was lurking inside the walls.

I had started my new job at a local fast food restaurant while I was going to school part time at NCC. My husband is a part time student as well and is disabled he has A-Fib, Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, and is on Coumadin for his heart among several other medications. We were going to have him go for a cardio-version to try to fix his heart in September of this year. We were looking forward to it very much.

By the end of June he and I were breaking out in rashes all over our bodies. I mainly noticed it on my stomach area, legs, and arms, as well as my husband. I thought that it was something that we might have been allergic too such as a new laundry soap that I had switched to recently or the chemicals that we used at work to sanitize equipment. Boy was I wrong!

While I was at work one day, my husband happened to be cleaning and working around our bedroom area, this was about the beginning of August. He noticed that there were little bugs crawling around the outside of our bathroom door in our bedroom. There was fecal matter all over the door frame streaming down to the wall jacks and behind our bed. He moved the bed out and notice even more bugs crawling around. We never imagined that it would be a case of bedbugs….Oh My God! Bed Bugs I thought. We are so clean. I am a cleaning fanatic and anyone that knows me can tell you this. Is this what was causing our distress, our sleepless nights, nights of tossing and turning and itching? Immediately we called the Management company and told them what we had found. We did several hours of research on line to figure out what these critters were. We were pretty sure. They were bed bugs! In the mean time we headed to the emergency room because my husband was ill and we couldn’t figure out why. They diagnosed him with an infection but we couldn’t figure out how he could have caught it.

The Management company sent in a pest control individual that sprayed and threw powder down around the bedrooms. I remember getting home later that night and smelling the chemicals and it making me cough and choke as I inhaled. I too have lungs that have been ruined by Sarcoidosis and different chemicals make me cough and choke. My husband had told me that the pest control guy said that we will be able to sleep in there that night. All I kept thinking was HOW? It was impossible!

We waited two weeks after the spraying of the chemical before we actually tried to sleep back in the room. I dusted and vacuumed and swept and mopped and it seemed like nothing would remove the smell or the psychological issues I was having about sleeping in the apartment never mind trying to sleep back in that bedroom. I had my husband move the bed frame on the other side of the wall, just under the window so he could put his breathing machine on the window sill, as to not breathe in any powder residue left behind. As soon as he had done this, he went into a coughing fit. Coughing and vomiting from the smell of the chemicals. He could feel the powder residue being inhaled as did I. This sent him to the hospital for the second time in a one week period. This time the emergency room doctor said that he has an infection and it was settling into a certain part of his body and creating a lot of pain for him. They diagnosed him with Epidermitis. They began to treat him but he wasn’t getting any better with the meds.

We finally got all situated and I was okay the first night however, every time the fan blew my way I would twitch and wake up. That went on all night long…UGH! So we made it through our first night back in the room. However, the second night did not go as well. I itched again all night but kept telling myself that is was only the fan blowing on us again.

The next morning I woke up to itching and I felt something walking down the middle of my back. I ran like a wild woman streaking my way to the shower, tearing my clothing off my body and hoping into the shower. There was a bed bug walking down my back. Oh My God! Not again I was thinking to myself. I can’t handle it. I have to work and I’m so tired. How and I going to continue to do this at home and try and work? I got out of the shower and dried myself off. It was evident that the bugs haven’t gone anywhere. I had a track of marks going from my elbow up to my wrist where a bug had feasted on me as I slept the night before.

That morning my husband and I made several more calls to the landlord to let her know that we couldn’t do this anymore. We can’t be patient and live with these things feasting on us.  All of our calls have still gone unanswered. We have yet to date to hear from anyone.

The people in our building have been very peaceful and courteous to each other as to not bother anyone. We have a very diverse culture in the building as well. I don’t mind, everyone is very nice but with us all coming from different life styles, I can’t help but wonder…are these people coming in from other countries bringing their friends with them?

The apartment across the hall was rented by a local church that puts immigrants into these apartments on a temporary basis. Well our next door neighbors moved out about 3 or so weeks ago and left their friends behind for everyone to enjoy….NOT! The owner of the unit went into the apartment and bombed for roaches and they scattered….everywhere! We had roaches coming in under our front door. They were crawling on the wall in the hallway from our corner unit to the laundry room (which is half the length of the building which is big). For 4 days we endured the wrath of the roaches, climbing in our beds which were perched on our living room floor because the bed bugs were in our bedroom.

After this incident we called our Management company again and received no response back from them. Instead a few days later we received a letter under our door stating that the pest control people will be coming in to inspect all units and if you will not be home to notify them before hand. Now there are 36 apartments in this very large building and perhaps half the people here don’t read, write, or understand English. So the doors go unanswered and the notices ignored.

In the mean time, my husband went to the hospital emergency room again for the third time. His situation had gotten worse and the infected area had turned a deep purple, almost black and was so soar that he couldn’t walk, rest, or sit in any position. This time they diagnosed him with another type of infection which would require a stronger type of medication.

So needless to say, we are back on the floor in the living room and back to waiting for something or someone to help us with this situation. We have started packing and continue to look online for something to give us hope…or someone.

As of today, September 19, 2011, we received a voicemail from our management company and she stated that she’s sorry that she hasn’t gotten back to us sooner she has been away on vacation. Mind you, this has been going on for months.

I need to know what our legal rights are as a tenant in this situation. These bugs weren’t with us before we got here. Can we bring suit for damages? Where can we go to get help?

We want to keep this from happening to other families!

Edited on: Monday, September 19th, 2011 1:26 pm

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