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  • Buy-to-Let

    Tenant complaining of bed bugs. Anyone have experience of this?

    We have new tenants in one of our properties.  It is an 8 year old apartment in Woking and has been well maintained over the years.  The new folk claim to have been bitten and went to the doctor who says it is bed bugs.  They insist we do something about it.  But what does one do?

    The beds were new 8 years ago and we have always supplied quality mattress and pillow protectors.

    Does anyone have any experience with such a case and if so what was the outcome.  We all know doctors can be wrong, the bites may have come from elsewhere, so we do not want to spend lots of money on fumigation if it is not necessary.

    Thanks  Max Wright

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    They are probably a bit kinky and have bitten each other!

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    I haven't had the problem (yet) but watched a program on TV where the soft furnishing was treated by pest control with a foam that killed the bed bugs. As far as I can remember they were also able to test if the bugs were present.There are also all sorts of sprays etc. on the market but I have no idea how effective they are.Angela

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    Thanks Angela, will look into that. Angela O'Connor said:

    I haven't had the problem (yet) but watched a program on TV where the soft furnishing was treated by pest control with a foam that killed the bed bugs. As far as I can remember they were also able to test if the bugs were present.There are also all sorts of sprays etc. on the market but I have no idea how effective they are.Angela


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    Hi Max 

    Yuk yes brings back memories. Got me scratching now!!  Its one of lifes hazards I`m afraid . Anyone could have brought the infestation in in that 8 yrs . The way I looked at it when I have had that problem is its down to me to provide a healthy environment and it would be very hard to prove one way or other whose fault it is. I took legal advice at the time as the EHO got involved and the long and short of it was it was ultimately down to me to resolve but the tenants understood there was perhaps a responsibility on them to report it sooner than they did to me. It went on too long and the problem was exacerbated by their neglect to report it to me earlier.

    I did look at cheap options but to be honest i decided for £100 or so to bring in an expert. You should get a free survey which would confirm whether it was bed bugs or not.  It needs a course of treatment and its a specialised job. The guy I had often picked up work from failed DIY jobs. He came back 3 times to sort it and there was a gurantee attached for peace of mind. Its expensive compared with a few cans but I would say well worth the expenditure. There are issues around health and safety which you have to be mindful of as well. Pets. Asthmatics.  And in my case the tenant was pregnant so had to find her alternative accommodation.   It gives confidence to your tenants  to do it properly though and prevents any comeback on you.

    It was discussd here albeit briefly. ......but has useful other links as well within that discussion

    https://propertytribes.ning.com/forum/top...-tight-...

    Good Luck

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Hi Jonathan

    Thank you so much for your advice, we will get onto it straight away to get an appraisal done.

    Jonathan Clarke said:

    Hi Max 

    Yuk yes brings back memories. Got me scratching now!!  Its one of lifes hazards I`m afraid . Anyone could have brought the infestation in in that 8 yrs . The way I looked at it when I have had that problem is its down to me to provide a healthy environment and it would be very hard to prove one way or other whose fault it is. I took legal advice at the time as the EHO got involved and the long and short of it was it was ultimately down to me to resolve but the tenants understood there was perhaps a responsibility on them to report it sooner than they did to me. It went on too long and the problem was exacerbated by their neglect to report it to me earlier.

    I did look at cheap options but to be honest i decided for £100 or so to bring in an expert. You should get a free survey which would confirm whether it was bed bugs or not.  It needs a course of treatment and its a specialised job. The guy I had often picked up work from failed DIY jobs. He came back 3 times to sort it and there was a gurantee attached for peace of mind. Its expensive compared with a few cans but I would say well worth the expenditure. There are issues around health and safety which you have to be mindful of as well. Pets. Asthmatics.  And in my case the tenant was pregnant so had to find her alternative accommodation.   It gives confidence to your tenants  to do it properly though and prevents any comeback on you.

    It was discussd here albeit briefly. ......but has useful other links as well within that discussion

    https://propertytribes.ning.com/forum/top...-tight-...

    Good Luck


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    Interesting stuff Nick, many thanks.  Who do you recommend to use for £100 is there a particular firm around?  We are in the Woking area.

    Nick Parkin said:

    I've had it 4 times. I can't afford to have the problem spread so I always get a firm in to eradicate & take the £100 on the chin. If I wasted time arguing who's fault it is I'd have a dozen infected flats, all my fault. They travel in the cracks of furniture & luggage so it's likely they are associated with the change of tenancy.


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    Hi Max,Sorry to hear this.  Please do not underestimate this problem!!  It needs immediate attention and cooperation from your tenants as well. 

    There is a Property 118 blog here that describes a bedbug nightmare.  You should read it to give you an idea of what is needed to resolve this problem.Excerpt:I was not too worried about the cost of treating the bedbugs as it was around £50 for the whole treatment, however all the beds would have to be destroyed and all soft items such as clothes would also need to be treated. They would need to be boil washed or placed in a freezer for 24 hours. In addition, whilst the treatment took place we would need to provide the tenants with blow-up mattresses so that any new beds provided were not affected whilst the treatment took place. Surprisingly the tenants were ok with this, even though the council would treat once a week for 4 weeks, gosh this was going to take a while to put right! 

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    Hi Max I have had this problem in three properties of mine.May I ask what the tenants in the property in question do? I ask this as in all three properties the tenants of mine were all working in factories packing etc.. I agreed to solve the problem the first time. But I was advised by the guy treating the problem that if it occurs again it could be because of where they work. I explained to my tenants this and they were ok with this. They even said it probably was from the workplace as there is a high turnover of staff there, and also staff from overseas.

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    Hi Max

    Yes, we've had it too.  I was pretty certain it was the tenants' fault, but we ended up paying for them to be removed too, just like Nick has done.

    Very irritating (pun intended), but I think it's just one of those things us landlords have to put up with!Best

    Tony 

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    Hi Max

    Ok I deal with bed bugs in Hotels as I have another business that is carpet and furniture cleaning.   30 years experience.

    Unfortunately if it is bed bugs they are VERY VERY  hard to get rid of and are good at not being seen.

    If they are bed bugs they will be at the head or foot of the matress normally in the crease around the top and bottom layers.

    They are dark brown and very flat and have small legs, about 2 tp 3 mm dia  They do bit and the tell tail sign is blood spots on the sheets. 

    They will find tiny cracks in wqalls and bed frames to hide in,  one good meal will give it up to a year before it has to feed again.

    You can call a pro in the spay but it normall take me about 3 goes to clear them.

    Best method I found was to dump the bed frame and matress deep clean the carpets and spray curtains carpet chairs inside and out.

    The product we use is a professional product that cannot be bought by the public.

    I do also have a insecticide product i could let you have , but you have to be carefull not to use the room that day or night.

    Reason is normally down to the lifestyle of the person using it.

    ie Hotels have a high turn over of assorts of people with different levels of cleanliness. if you get my drift.

    any questions ?

    Rob Lamb

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