Bed bugs prompt eviction, IRAC hearing

Ryan Ross
Published on December 18, 2012
Reginald Doyle prepares for an Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission hearing on behalf of his sister Barbara Doyle who appealed her eviction from her Dorchester Street apartment.
Guardian photo

A Charlottetown landlord who evicted an elderly tenant says he did so because she wasn’t doing what was necessary to get rid of bed bugs in her apartment.

Wayne Bevan of Bevan Enterprises appeared before an Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission panel Monday morning for a hearing on the tenant’s appeal of her eviction.

Bevan said an exterminator he hired told him he thought the bed bugs originated in the woman’s apartment. Another exterminator told him the bed bugs were the worst he had ever seen, Bevan said.

“Everything was covered.”

Barbara Doyle filed the appeal after an earlier decision by the residential rental property director that allowed Bevan Enterprises to evict the woman.

The bed bug problem at the Dorchester Street apartment building has been ongoing since the summer, with Bevan saying he had exterminators spray three times in Doyle’s apartment in an attempt to get rid of them.

Doyle hasn’t moved yet and has lived in the ground-floor apartment for three years.

Reginald Doyle, who is Barbara Doyle’s brother, told the panel she first lost her bed because of the bugs, then the couch she slept on once her bed was gone.

Since Dec. 5 she has been sleeping on a cot, which she vacuums every day and keeps away from the wall, he said.

“She does it to try and keep her sanity and hopefully a peaceful sleep.”

In his statement to the panel, Reginald Doyle said 12 weeks went by without Bevan Enterprises spraying the woman’s apartment, which ruined any progress made by previous attempts to get rid of the pests.

His sister didn’t know about bed bugs when the problem first arose, but she has since come to understand the situation well, he said.

He also said his sister had few possessions for the exterminators to work around and Bevan should work with her to solve the bed bug problem, not blame her.

“Why should Barb be punished for not knowing what bed bugs are?”

Bevan said he tries to work with tenants as best he can, but the situation was so bad in the woman’s apartment that he walked on bed bugs when he went inside.

“Blood all over the floor,” he said.

The last time an exterminator sprayed the apartment was Dec. 5 and they will spray again before going back for an inspection.

Bevan said he has spent $4,500 to try and get rid of the bed bugs.

Elizabeth Morrison also spoke for Bevan Enterprises at the hearing and said the only reason they could think of for the exterminator’s treatments not working was that Doyle wasn’t following instructions.

Morrison also said the landlord didn’t think Doyle understood the severity of the situation.

“We’re having a real hard time here and we have to get it rectified,” Morrison said.

The panel adjourned the hearing and said it will release its ruling at a later date.