CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Jennifer Matamala remembers vividly mendacity awake till the early morning hours within the new Charlottetown residence she and her boyfriend had just lately moved into.
Their sleepless nights started on their first day, Aug. 31, after they stumbled upon a couple of cockroaches crawling on the mattress’s legs, making their approach onto the mattress.
“I wasn’t in a position to sleep. Like, I used to be awake till perhaps 3 a.m. day by day,” Matamala informed SaltWire in an interview on Sept. 7.
These weren’t the one cockroaches the couple discovered.
Earlier on the day they moved in, they determined to do some rearranging, pulling out the range and fridge, and so they additionally opened the kitchen cupboards to place stuff in.
They had been greeted by a bunch of each stay and lifeless cockroaches, with the stay ones scurrying round their new dwelling.
Roach feces had collected on the partitions and flooring, hidden behind home equipment, and inside the cupboards.
“It was very soiled. And behind the fridge, there was a cockroach nest,” she recalled. “I did not know what to do, so we began killing the cockroaches. And I even have photos (of them) on the ground, like, smashed.”
The infestation was so extreme it prompted them a number of anxiousness, Matamala mentioned. They determined to maneuver out after 4 nights.
They rented a small resort room whereas trying to find one other lodging, despite the fact that they’d already paid the owner greater than $3,500 in deposit, first-month lease, and an $80 cleansing charge.
‘I really feel scammed’
The couple, initially from Chile, hadn’t meant to lease this residence.
Initially, they’d discovered a spot near Holland School, the place Matamala was enrolled. Nevertheless, shortly earlier than their arrival in P.E.I., they had been knowledgeable that the constructing was being bought.
After a couple of weeks in an Airbnb, they discovered an inexpensive residence in Charlottetown by means of a web-based advert – the identical residence they needed to vacate as a result of infestation.
“We went to see the residence, however there have been nonetheless individuals residing there,” she mentioned, including that was why she didn’t totally examine the unit’s furnishings and home equipment.
Upon discovering the infestation, they contacted the owner by means of WhatsApp, who mentioned he would ship pest management to handle the difficulty.
Matamala mentioned she was left questioning whether or not the owner was already conscious of the issue and had failed to tell them earlier than they moved in. She additionally wonders why he hadn’t taken steps to remove the cockroaches earlier than their arrival.
“I really feel scammed,” she mentioned. “He didn’t apologize or one thing.”
Taking issues into their very own fingers, the couple deep-cleaned the residence with bleach, a job they believed ought to have been the owner’s duty earlier than they moved in.
“We informed him we cleaned. He did not say thanks. So, we left.”
‘We wish justice’
SaltWire reached out the owner for an interview on Sept. 7 by way of WhatsApp, which he declined.
Two days later, Matamala informed SaltWire they acquired their $1,750 harm deposit again, though they consider they need to additionally obtain a refund for his or her September lease as a result of they stayed within the unit for less than 4 days.
Moreover, they need compensation for the 5 nights they needed to pay out of pocket for the resort as a result of cockroach-infested unit. The couple can be searching for a refund of the $80 cleansing charge, as they did not really feel the residence had been adequately cleaned earlier than their arrival.
They just lately went to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Fee (IRAC) to file a dispute. Matamala mentioned she solely discovered about IRAC by means of a Fb group the place she sought assist from Islanders relating to her scenario.
“We wish justice,” she mentioned.
‘Now, I don’t belief individuals’
Upon listening to the couple’s scenario, June Ellis, govt director of the Residential Rental Affiliation of P.E.I., mentioned the owner ought to have resolved the infestation earlier than permitting new tenants to maneuver in.
“It is simply not acceptable,” Ellis mentioned.
Ellis mentioned she might be informing the affiliation’s members about this particular case.
“I am going to undoubtedly attain out to a few of the landlords, the property homeowners and simply give them a heads up that this has occurred … as a result of it does give just like the property homeowners a foul identify,” she mentioned.
As for Matamala and her boyfriend, they’ve discovered a room to lease quickly in Stratford till October, when they are going to luckily have the ability to transfer into an residence in Charlottetown.
Matamala mentioned the whole ordeal has left the newcomer couple with a adverse first impression.
“Now, I do not belief individuals when I’ve to lease a spot as a result of we should test the whole lot.”
Thinh Nguyen is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He will be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on X @thinhnguyen4291.