Last night, the lady down the hall–the one whose residency agreement was terminated because of all this–stopped by, in tears.

When I last saw her about a month ago, she had said that she was given 28 days to move, because the real estate company said she hadn’t reported her bug problem in a timely way and it had spread to other units.  In essence, scapegoating her unfairly, because my building manager told me a few weeks ago that this has been a problem on other floors before ours, so it’s not like this all started with her–why they chose to kick this woman out is beyond me.  They wouldn’t thermal treat her place before she left, either, so she was panicking because she was very likely going to take bugs with her when she moved.  But she had 4 weeks to vacate, so she found a new place, wiped down all her stuff with bleach and alcohol, bagged it, dried all her clothes, and packed up.

Last night, I was surprised to see her, because her move-out day was Feb. 28.  But apparently the real estate office had called the management company of the building she was moving to and told them they might want to do some spraying after she got there, since she had a bedbug problem.  The new place immediately canceled her rental agreement, because they didn’t want to risk an infestation.  The woman called the original real estate office and asked to be allowed back into her old apartment, and was given another 28 days to vacate.

Today she’s meeting with the real estate office, a case worker, and someone from the pest control company, to talk about what’s going on and what can be done.  I’m just so angry at all of this–their treatment of her, the stigma that’s following her, their refusal to thermal treat the affected units and thereby end this nightmare for those of us going through it and also keep it from spreading to other units (or repeat units) in the building, their lack of information to other tenants about basic identification, prevention, and treatment protocols, and the burden this puts on us and on our awesome building managers.

All I can do is hope that they see sense after her meeting with them.  I can give them that much benefit of the doubt (skeptical though it may be)–it’s possible they’re just clueless and haven’t had to deal with this before, so they don’t know what to do (though the pest control place SHOULD inform them).  If they can change their minds and thermal treat us after this, then okay.  But if they won’t, I’ll need to seriously consider moving to a different real estate company once I’m eventually clear of this.  It’ll be hard, as this company owns most of the buildings in this area in my price point, and I’ll lose my lake view.  And there’s no guarantee any other companies will be any better about such issues (if, God forbid, this should ever happen again)–none of them are exactly noted for their compassionate care of their tenants.  It all feels hopeless.

I wonder whether there’s any way to help advocate for people in this situation.  The lady down the hall said that my research and rational persuasion skills were helping her feel more confident going into today’s meeting.  She asked if I could be there with her, to present this information, but I have to work, so I can’t.  As of now, all I can do is keep e-mailing the real estate office my pleas for logical courses of action.  But I wonder whether there’s a way to help other people who go through this…

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