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  • FIRST POST
    steve888
    PLEASE HELP Bed Bug Infestation and dispute with council
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 09, 1:16 PM
    PLEASE HELP Bed Bug Infestation and dispute with council 25th Jan 09 at 1:16 PM




    Helo moneysavers

    can anyone advise me as to what I can do to address the matter above



    1. any legal experts on here who can advise if the council has been negligent in thier duties ?- we would like them to take action immedtaiely and are writing to MP and concillours

    2.what can I buy from B&Q etc to treat the bed bugs whilst I solve my aunts dispute with the council?





    this is causing my auunt a lot of worry at the moment- see her letter to the council below. she is a single mun who lives in council accomodation with three children


    thanks for any help


    steve

    I would like to ask for urgent action on a major health hazard which the council need to take responsibility for in order to protect the health and well being of my child and myself.

    I have recently found out that my neighbour had an infestation of bed bugs which the council came to treat 18 months ago. Dispute the obvious risks the council did not inform me (I am a tenant in council accommodation) of the potential risk to my family and the need for me to look at for this risk. I believe that the council has been negligent in its duty to ensure that it tenants are not subject to a public health hazard

    The background to this is as follows

    I noticed a single dead bed bug in the third week in Dec 08. I have contacted the council at the time and they said that I will have to pay £60 for 2 inspection visits and the futher osts dependant on the infestation- at the time as their was only one bug I it may have come through the window. At this n ( and I hadn't realised that there had been an infestation of bed bugs next door I because the council had not told me. Had the council told me to watch out for this risk I would have raised the alarm and discussed with council the urgent situation?





    However on Friday 21st Jan following my daughter complaining of numerous insect bites she received when asleep I decided to investigate the bedroom and was shocked and alarmed to discover thousands of bugs in the bed and the floorboards. My daughter also saw all of the bugs and was very upset to think that she had been sleeping in the bedroom with these thousands of bed bugs

    Over this weekend I have now had to take my daughters beds out into the garden and throw all of the bedding away. I am very upset by this. I have tried to clear the bugs as best I can but I understand that the rooms need to be treated with powerful insecticide by professional



    I feel that council should have told me and the other tenants at risk that there was an infestation of Bed Bugs in the area and advise me to keeping an eye on the bedrooms for any sign of bugs. This is after all a health hazard and I have a 10 year old daughter. My daughter has been badly affected by this mentally and now is scared of sleeping in the bedroom and she will not go into the bedrooms
    Now it too late and I have an infestation- and I Cannot afford to pay the treatment costs and the costs of replacing the items that I have to throw away

    I have to throw away the throw bed linen away and it is going to be hard to replace them because I cannot afford it

    I would like the council to urgently & immediately Come and treat my house and kill the bed bugs at no cost to myself

    If the council refuses to do this I will have no choice but court action


    In the court action I will ask the court to require the council because of their negligence in not informing the tenants of the risk and the distress this has caused me and my family to

    Pay for the professional treatment of removing the bugs from the house

    Pay for replacement costs of the bedding and beds and mattresses
    Compensate my family for the distress caused by this situation
    Given the urgent situation I would like an immediate response to this matter- by 4th Feb 2009. I am contacting my MP and local councillor regarding this matter- but I would like to settle this with the council direct in the next few days – rather than taking the other action.

    I hope given the situation that the council will react immediately to address the situtaion. I look forward o hear from you by FEB 4th 2009.My address is XXXXXXXXXXXXX



Page 1
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 25th Jan 09, 3:14 PM
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    paddy's mum
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:14 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:14 PM
    I'm sorry, but I don't agree with you at all.

    I strongly suspect that you will find that there are laws to prevent the council from telling someone's private business to all and sundry. In my view, the council would have been utterly wrong to have told anyone, neighbour or not, about the original infestation. Would your aunt like it if the council told her neighbours that she had treatment last year for some embarassing medical condition or other? Should VD clinics publish lists of who in the neighbourhood has the clap, in order to protect against future infection?

    I would be surprised if an infestation that was dealt with eighteen months ago has any relevance to this new outbreak but I am not an expert on the habits of bed bugs.

    I wish your aunt a happy outcome but my belief is that the council have no obligations whatever in the matter and writing to your MP and councillors is unlikely to achieve what you expect.
    • MX5huggy
    • By MX5huggy 25th Jan 09, 3:24 PM
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    MX5huggy
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:24 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:24 PM
    Exactly,

    Who recomended throwing out the bedding it just needed washing on a hot wash. The mattress may be another matter. Which council is this?
  • Edinburghlass
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:28 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:28 PM
    Actually I googled it and found this...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/content/articles/2008/02/15/london_bed_bugs_s13_w2_feature.shtml

    I would wonder too if the aunt is warning all her neighbours about her current infestation or would object if the council told them?
    Martin has asked me to tell you that I'm the Board Guide of the Telephones, Reclaim Bank Charges, Silver Savers and Scotland boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Board guides don't deal with this. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • carefullycautious
    • By carefullycautious 25th Jan 09, 3:54 PM
    • 2,162 Posts
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    carefullycautious
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:54 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 09, 3:54 PM
    :confused: bed bugs thrive on the dried skin we shed daily. The op can irradicate this problem by hoovering her mattresses regulary and washing bedding on hot wash. However, as this seems to have got out of hand she will probably need someone to come in the spray with insecticide. I agree with others the council are not under any obligation to inform other tenents on what to most of us is a preventable problem with good housekeeping practices
    • MX5huggy
    • By MX5huggy 25th Jan 09, 4:12 PM
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    MX5huggy
    • #6
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:12 PM
    • #6
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:12 PM
    Bed bugs arn't intrested in dead skin all they want is your blood!
    • Sagaris
    • By Sagaris 25th Jan 09, 4:15 PM
    • 1,687 Posts
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    Sagaris
    • #7
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:15 PM
    • #7
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:15 PM
    :confused: bed bugs thrive on the dried skin we shed daily. The op can irradicate this problem by hoovering her mattresses regulary and washing bedding on hot wash. However, as this seems to have got out of hand she will probably need someone to come in the spray with insecticide. I agree with others the council are not under any obligation to inform other tenents on what to most of us is a preventable problem with good housekeeping practices
    Originally posted by carefullycautious
    I thought they fed on blood, not dead skin, hence the nasty bite marks people wake up with after sleeping on infected bedding?
    I think you can buy heavy duty insecticide from Robert Dyas, B&Q etc but it's pretty nasty stuff, might be best to contact the council for advice at least. They could have come into the house in lots of ways, including in a mattress if once has been bought int o the house recently, on bedding, curtains or even in clothes if someone has stored them in an infected area.
    Nasty things!
    Almost 2 stones gone!
    RIP Clio 1.9.93 - 7.4.10
    I WILL be tidy, I WILL be tidy!
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 25th Jan 09, 4:18 PM
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    Browntoa
    • #8
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:18 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:18 PM
    I'm sure data protection would stop them revealing it to the neighbours
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I'm a volunteer to help them run smoothly and I can move and merge posts there. However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 25th Jan 09, 4:20 PM
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    Fire Fox
    • #9
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:20 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Jan 09, 4:20 PM
    It's dust mites that feed on dead skin I think.
    What a difference a day makes, twenty four little hours.
  • steve888
    Thanks for the constrcutive responses from some of you

    To those going on about data p;rotection etc- if you read the letter properly you would have seen that the letter stated in the local area- IE NOT IDENTIFYING THE NEIGHBOUR

    Also the info from the Bed Bugs experts is as follows ( cut and pasted below). GIVEN THIS RISK I am sure that my aunt wouldnt mind the council sending a few letters to the houses in the street- to avoid them also having this situation. She has warned the neighbour on the other side already- this is about the community looking out for eacghother- although some of the people who have resoponded cleary dont hae this approach
    The infestation next door bwas no doubt gradual and the erradiaction can take a while
    Insterestinly in Oldham they talke this risk very seriuosly and offer to erradicate it at no cost for thier tenants

    Thansk again for the responses from people who have a sense of community
  • Suzy M
    I think she would be struggling to prove the bugs originated from her neighbour's house. With the numbers she is suggesting I'm sure she would have noticed them much earlier had they been from the original infestation a year and a half ago. Anyone in your aunt's house been on any foreign holidays recently, bought or been given any furniture, even soft toys etc. etc. etc. all of which may have brought the infestaton in.

    What is your aunt's priority - dealing with the problem or screwing what she can out of the council? I'm sorry but the tone of her letter suggests the latter. If it is dealing with the problem I think the council's fees sound very reasonable.
  • steve888
    the infestation was no doubt gradual and the erradiaction can take a while

    here is the EXP{ERT ADVICE

    Transmission from a neighbour is a lot more common than people would believe and the likelihood of you getting infested depends on how they handle the problem. In flats and apartments the risk is greater if the building does not have a sturdy party wall. A few years ago this method of transmission was widely discounted by pest professionals but is now recognised by most people who have experience of dealing with infestations. In worst case scenarios we have seen 10-20 adjoined properties infested by this method in the same street and several floors in apartment buildings and blocks of flats. If you think your neighbour has an issue with bed bugs you should check your bed and living area on a weekly basis to make sure that you detect any bed bug signs at the earliest possible stages.


    http://www.bed-bugs.co.uk/bbmyths.html
  • steve888
    I think she would be struggling to prove the bugs originated from her neighbour's house. With the numbers she is suggesting I'm sure she would have noticed them much earlier had they been from the original infestation a year and a half ago. Anyone in your aunt's house been on any foreign holidays recently, bought or been given any furniture, even soft toys etc. etc. etc. all of which may have brought the infestaton in.

    What is your aunt's priority - dealing with the problem or screwing what she can out of the council? I'm sorry but the tone of her letter suggests the latter. If it is dealing with the problem I think the council's fees sound very reasonable.
    Originally posted by Suzy M

    thats exactly the point my aunt has been no where in the last5 years and had no furntiture or soft toys given to her - the only route hsas been next door

    the tome of the letter is a reflevction of the response from the council - to get action from theym you have to talk tough - its not my style but she desperate and the freindly response go her nowhere on Friday other than not our problem luv
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 25th Jan 09, 4:57 PM
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    Browntoa
    "sense of community" is overidden by the rule of law

    other neighbour could sue the council for breaking their confidentiality

    just because you do not like the answer does not make it wrong , if the neighbour chooses to tell you its up to them but the council have no legal obligation to tell anyone
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I'm a volunteer to help them run smoothly and I can move and merge posts there. However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • steve888
    "sense of community" is overidden by the rule of law

    other neighbour could sue the council for breaking their confidentiality

    just because you do not like the answer does not make it wrong , if the neighbour chooses to tell you its up to them but the council have no legal obligation to tell anyone
    Originally posted by Browntoa

    ok then lets apply this another scenarion - lets say it was a more seriuos infestaion - lets say some damgerous pet that someone has had in

    Im sure the pubilic interets is better served by preventing other problems - would adta protection stop the authorities . they do it at schooolsl whgen a child has a disesase no dtat protection stoppoing people there

    I think a lot of peoole can be so blinkered and high behind data protection - - but then the soem people have the Rules is Rules mentality . The public inetrest test is there and people m need to get up to speed.....
    • paddy's mum
    • By paddy's mum 25th Jan 09, 6:24 PM
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    • 12,271 Thanks
    paddy's mum
    I've had another think about this. If you haven't already sent them, I would simply tear up any further letters and drop the whole matter.

    The claims are farcical. The allegations are close to libellous or do you think the neighbour who is being blamed will be happy to be named and shamed? If the first bed bug could have come in "through the window", on what basis is this the negligence of the council?

    What reading or checking out of facts did your aunt do before destroying the bedlinen and mattress that she is now claiming for?

    If she can't afford to pay for the treatment, how is she going to fund the thousands of pound of legal fees to take court action? It's an empty threat that just makes her look foolish.

    To claim compensation for distress is laughable. If her child catches headlice, is she going to shove her out for adoption and then claim from the school, because that is the likely place she caught them?!

    Finally, is your aunt going to "raise the alarm" and let the entire street know that she is now a "health risk" and a "public health hazard"? No ... why not?

    Your best bet is to drop the whole thing and hope that as few people as possible realise that you have behaved like fools. The reply you demand by the 4th of February may be from the local authority's lawyers letting you know that they are issuing proceedings to prevent you from publicly labelling them as "negligent" and "subjecting" someone to a "major health hazard".

    I hope it gets sorted out soon but really feel that you are going about this in totally the wrong way since it is quite likely that your letters will do little except to alienate people.
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