Senior Residents Complain Of Bed Bugs, Manager's Warning On 'Gossip'
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
LANCASTER, OH - Some residents of a government-subsidized
apartment building for senior citizens say the property manager has
mishandled a bedbug outbreak and threatened to evict anyone who
talks about the infestation.
Bedbugs were first detected in September in a third-floor
apartment, but only that apartment was treated at the time, and the
bugs spread to apartments on the lower floors, said residents
Dottie Shumway and Mary Lang.
Lang, 74, sobbed as she talked about the bedbugs in her
apartment. "I found one crawling on me," she said.
Shumway, 73, said her apartment was found to be free of bedbugs,
but the property manager told her she could be evicted for
discussing the bugs with other tenants.
The 33-unit Seton Lancaster was developed by the Roman Catholic
Diocese of Columbus and is managed by BRC Properties Inc.
Shumway was told last month in a letter signed by Cindy Fisher,
BRC general manager, that she might be violating her lease:
"Specifically, you have been overheard by management expressing
your opinion of how the bedbug situation has been handled. This is
causing undue stress and worry for many residents, which is a
violation of their 'quiet enjoyment of the premises.' We ask that
you cease this constant chatter and gossip. Contrary to what you
are spreading through the building, we are handling this bedbug
problem in the same manner as we have done at five other properties
that we manage."
Fisher said the bedbugs are under control. All the apartments
that had the bugs have been sprayed or are scheduled to be, and a
bug-detecting dog is sniffing apartments for lingering pests, she