The tenants of a block of flats in Belvedere were “forced to sit in corridors” after their apartments became infested with bedbugs and needed £300 private fumigations.

In August 2022, several residents living in Flaxman Court in Hoddesdon Road started to notice the appearance of rashes and bite marks on their skin.

According to resident Tarnya Jasinski, the block which is owned and managed by Orbit Housing, has become “infested” with bedbugs, with “at least seven” apartments having an issue with them.

Tarnya claimed that although the skin issues continued, at the time it was believed to be a result of allergies to dust particles from ongoing building works.

News Shopper: Rashes found on the resident's skinRashes found on the resident's skin (Image: Tarnya Jasinski)

The 66-year-old said: “We all went to the doctors, and we were asked if we had bedbugs, because that’s what it looked like.

“However, we weren’t told of any issues with bedbugs and so we passed it off as allergies to building works.

“Now we’ve been told that last year one of the tenants had to have their flat fumigated because of bedbugs.

“When we questioned it, we were told that the tenant told somebody in the building, that this was the case.”

Tarnya told the News Shopper that two weeks ago one resident was changing her bedding to discover that there were bedbugs “all over the place”.

She explained that the block, which is occupied by residents over the age of 55, has now had “seven known cases” of bedbugs, with the infestation being reported on all three floors of the building.

Tarnya claims that the tenants have since had to pay £300 each to have their flats fumigated by a private pest control company, after the first company contracted by Orbit didn’t find any bedbugs.

News Shopper: The residents began to notice itchy unexplained rashes appear on their skin.The residents began to notice itchy unexplained rashes appear on their skin. (Image: Tarnya Jasinski)

Tarnya said that the company uncovered bedbugs living in the communal area of the block.

She explained: “We had our person we hired from a pest control company take a look at the communal area that we are encouraged to use.

“He told us that it was absolutely teeming with bedbugs, both adults and eggs.

“So, we think that’s how it’s spread, when we’ve been using the area and brought it up to our own apartments.”

According to Tarnya, Orbit has agreed to fund the cost to fumigate the communal area, however she says she was told that any costs to fumigate the apartments would need to be funded by the residents.

News Shopper: The infestation was found in the communal area.The infestation was found in the communal area. (Image: Tarnya Jasinski)

Tarnya told the News Shopper that a lot of the residents have expressed concern that until the communal area is treated the infestation may spread and cause further financial strain for the elderly residents.

Tarnya said: “We're all old age pensioners here, some of them are 90.

“A lot of us are disabled, we can't afford to pay £300 out every couple of weeks to get our places fumigated, if the community area is to blame for it.”

Tarnya, who is also registered blind, described having to sit in the corridor outside her apartment for 12 hours whilst their apartments were fumigated.

Tarnya said: “We were told we must not go back to our flats for 12 hours.

“So I had to sit in a corridor, because I had nowhere else to go.

“I'm blind, I've got no family to go to for refuge and I wouldn't go if I'd got bedbugs anyway.

“But nobody seems to care that we've got them here, we're sitting in corridors like this.”

Tarnya claimed that the residents are currently waiting for Orbit to fumigate the communal area, which is currently still infested with bedbugs and therefore unusable.

News Shopper: Bed bugs were found in the communal area of Flaxman Road.Bed bugs were found in the communal area of Flaxman Road. (Image: Tarnya Jasinski)

Orbit said it is currently looking to arrange for a fumigation in the communal area of Flaxman Court “as soon as possible.”

It advised that it is planning to hold a meeting with residents as soon as possible.

A spokesperson for Orbit said: “We’re sorry about the issues that the residents of Flaxman Court have experienced.

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“In normal circumstances, customers are required to pay for treatments within their own homes as outlined in their tenancy agreement.

“Orbit will of course treat the communal area and this is being arranged to be undertaken as soon as possible.

“We were also planning to meet with our residents to discuss the outbreak, however as a result of the tube strike, we have had to rearrange the meeting which was due to take place on 15th March; this is currently being rescheduled and we have spoken to the customer to update her.”