LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A Little Rock tenant outraged after she says her landlord asked her to pay a $900 bill to get rid of bed bugs.
"All I can do is just deal with it the best I can," says Amanda Wilson of Little Rock.
Wilson rents an apartment at the Colonial Parc Apartments in Southwest Little Rock.
She says she did not bring the critters and should not be asked to foot the bill.
"I mean it's kind of putting me in a bind," says Wilson.
Regional vice president Bridgette Rankin with Jupiter Communities L.L.C. represents the owner of the Colonial Parc Apartments and issued the following statement:
"Colonial Parc Apartments values its residents and works hard to provide a comfortable living environment for all. Colonial Parc takes allegations of the presence of bed bugs seriously and promptly evaluates the situation. Colonial Parc requires that its residents inspect their units for the first 48 hours immediately after occupancy, as is suggested by the National Apartment Association, to verify the absence of bed bugs in their units. After conducting such inspection, each tenant signs a bed bug addendum to their lease acknowledging no bed bugs have been found. At no time has Colonial Parc refused to treat any unit for bed bugs. Colonial Parc has been in contact with the resident and is working on re-solving the situation."
Today's THV spoke with Wilson after receiving the statement Thursday afternoon. Wilson says the only person who contacted her is the on-site manager who told her she would have to foot the $900 bill.
A tenant of the complex for more than a year, Wilson says she takes pride in her home, even moving couches weekly just to clean.
She says she sleeps in short spans, doing so on top of blankets to avoid the bugs.
Wilson gives Today's THV a bag of the bed bugs which she caught a few nights back.
"Ok, definitely looks like we have bed bugs. Four or five of them found in this bag," says Keith Robinson with Legacy Pest Control.
Robinson says he has seen a major infestation of bed bugs this year in Little Rock. Today's THV asked his experience in dealing with apartment management/ tenant situations.
"They don't like the stigma. They take care of the problems. We have other ones that try to put the onus on the homeowner," says Robinson.
We next take Wilson's problem to Janet J. Robb, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau.
"She does need to do some homework. Anytime a landlord asks a tenant to take on additional responsibility for repairs or services the tenant needs to show that the need for those services was through no fault of their own," says Robb.