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Should residents pay for bed bug problem?


OKLAHOMA CITY — Residents in a metro apartment complex said several units are crawling with bed bugs.

They said the bigger problem is management wants them to pay for treatment.

One resident showed News Channel 4 spots were she said bed bugs bit her daughter.

“She three years old and they itch her all the time,” the woman said. “We don’t sleep in our beds anymore because they are in the box-spring lining.” 

Tenants said they were told it would cost $300 to $500 for extermination; for some, that’s close to one month’s rent.

Unit after unit, residents showed us where the bugs are hidden in the crevices between the carpet and walls.

Some tenants have poured powder on their mattresses trying to suffocate the bed bugs.

We contacted the Oklahoma City County Health Department.

Officials said the complex was put on notice Sept. 27 and the owners have 10 days to days to abate the problem.

A review of county records shows four complaints on file against the apartments for bed bugs, rodents and other insects.

Management said they couldn’t talk on camera but did tell us there is an addendum in the lease that states tenants have 30 days from the move-in date to report a bed bug problem.

After that deadline, occupants have to pay for it themselves.

They wouldn’t confirm or refute the amount.

Attorney David Slane said it doesn’t matter what the lease states, the landlord must pay.

He said, “They may try to contract around that law but you simply can’t do that. The law is the law. They can write whatever they want in their lease but that doesn’t mean it stops there.”

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