Calgary

Calgary renter covered in bedbug bites says building manager not helping

A low-income renter in Calgary says her landlord is not responding to complaints about an infestation of bed bugs and while Alberta Health Services says it will investigate, the landlord says he’s not aware of the problem.

Building manager says he's not aware of problem, stands by reputation

Natasha Smashnuk lives in a small one-bedroom apartment in the Beltline area. She says her arms are covered with small bedbug bites, a testament of the infestation she says plagues her suite and her neighbours as well. (File Photo/Deirdre Hamill/The Associated Press)

A low-income renter in Calgary says her landlord is not responding to complaints about an infestation of bedbugs.

The landlord, however, says he is not aware of the problem but Alberta Health Services (AHS) plans to investigate.

Natasha Smashnuk lives in a small one-bedroom apartment in the Beltline area.

Her arms are covered with small, red bug bites, a testament of the infestation she says plagues her suite and her neighbours' as well.

She says the landlord isn't taking action on tenants' complaints.

Natasha Smashnuk says her arms are covered in bedbug bites from an infestation that her landlord refuses to deal with. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

"He sent a rather ignorant email back stating that he didn't know, he wasn't a bug expert and didn't know what they were despite treating the building in 2014," Smashnuk told CBC News.

She called AHS to complain and CBC News has confirmed a public health inspector will be going out to the building.

Smashnuk says she would just like the problem fixed.

"Most of all, I'd just like to get the place treated, like the entire building and multiple times until it's done."

Natasha Smashnuk says these are some of the bedbugs she has found in her apartment. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

The building manager told CBC News in an emailed statement that he is not aware of the bedbug problem and he has not had time to address the allegations but he stands by his reputation.

"I have been in the rental business for approximately 10 years and not only have a good reputation with the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service but also Alberta Environmental Public Health," said the building manager.

"I also have accolades from former tenants of mine."

Smashnuk says she doesn't accept that the building manager is unaware of the problem.

"I think they're well aware," she said.

"And just the fact that all my stuff is ruined and the way it causes you to have to live, with an infestation like that, you would hope that the landlord would get on top of it rather than letting the situation get worse."

now