Cleveland Renters Eaten Up With Bed Bugs
WRCBtv.com (Chattanooga, TN)
Thursday, January 10, 2013
CLEVELAND, TN - Some renters in Bradley County are both fed up
and eaten up with bed bugs. People living at the Cleveland
apartment complex called Channel 3 saying the property manager is
not doing enough to solve the problem.
"I pay $580 a month rent and I do it to live in bed bugs that eat
me up every time I sleep," says Christina Newby.
Newby has a jar full of bed bugs she says came from her Green Drive
apartment in Cleveland. "I itched it so much that my scars never
went away," she says.
Newby and other residents showed Channel 3 the bites on their arms
and legs and backs. "After it being in here for a few months, we're
infested with them." says resident Betty Wheeler.
Wheeler's 3 month old son has bites. "We don't even know what to
do. We've told the managers, I've talked to the maintenance people.
And they've all said, 'Well, just get some chemicals,'" says
They have bought sprays, but say they do not work. "I'm just trying
to get rid of it. I've bombed my place, it's not doing any good,"
says resident Crystalyn Johnson.
Newby had to get rid of her bed and now sleeps on her couch. She
and other renters say they have called the property management
company to complain. "The landlord just hung up on me, pretty much,
told me not to call his phone again or I'd be evicted," says
We contacted property manager David Vincent. He declined an
on-camera interview, but agreed to talk over the phone.
"That's the first I've ever heard anything about bed bugs. We've
always had problems with roaches over there. We spray once a month
religiously, every month," says Vincent. He says the tenants
brought in the bugs. He also says some of the renters complaining
are ones being evicted.
"Usually when there's somebody being evicted out there, people
bring all their furniture and everything out on the streets and
they're all out there picking it up and carrying it back into their
apartments. That's probably where they're getting them from," says
"We moved in with nothing but an air mattress. So we knew we didn't
have beg bugs then," says Wheeler.
"I think he's just using that as an excuse because people have bed
bugs, they don't want to pay their rent. I didn't pay my rent last
week. I'm not going to lie. Because I plan on moving out of here
because of what's going on," says Newby.
Besides moving out, Newby says she plans on contacting the Division
of Consumer Affairs. It handles complaints in the state of
Tennessee for disputes between landlords and tenants.
She also took her complaint to the health department, but they do
not get involved unless it is a multi-unit dwelling like a hotel or