For those living in co-ops or condos

I live in a co-op. Apparently the building has a roach infestation. Accordingly the board of directors demanded that I have my apartment exterminated. The Exterminator came about a week and a half ago and laid down some gel in my bathroom and kitchen. The next day the apartment was uninhabitable. By that I mean the apartment smelled very very musty and it triggered my allergies which in turn triggered my asthma. I have no doubt that the allergies and subsequent asthma was caused by the dead roaches in the apartment. My reaction was horrendous; when I walked into the kitchen immediately my scalp began to tingle, as did my tongue and my throat. It is difficult for me to eat now because everything that goes down my throat hurts. It also triggered a mild asthmatic attack. I am able to breathe but I do feel my chest tightening.

I sent an urgent email to the managing agent for my building but she has not responded even though I  noted the extreme urgency of the matter.

Are there any members in this community living in co-ops or condos and are facing a problem such as mine? I have not been able to clear the air out even though I am running two HEPA air purifiers and two exhaust fans constantly day and night. As I mentioned in a different post about this issue I have not gotten a response from the managing agent or any members of the board of directors for the building.

While I understand that this board is primarily geared to those having to deal with the physical aspects of allergies and asthma, I was wondering if anybody had a similar situation to mine and what my legal remedies might be. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much!


Comments 7

  • K8sMom2002

    You've asked a great question, and one that other folks have asked recently! I know that @Dr. Liz Young has been having a similar problem (but with second and third hand smoke, not insecticides) with her unit's management. She could have heard something or learned something from her inquiries. I hope she's gotten some help! And I hope YOU get some help, too!

    I'm not sure what rights you may have, but have you tried the Americans with Disabilities Act hotline numbers?

    I'm going to send up a flare to see if we can figure out any other resources to help you with this as well — so many folks asking the same question about legal rights — there's got to be an answer out there somewhere, and we want to help you find it!

    Please keep us posted about what you find out … I definitely am rooting for you!

  • Jen

    Hi @Paularose,

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.  I'm sorry to hear that you had a reaction like that.  I hope that the condo management gets back to you soon.

  • Paularose

    Thank you both for your replies. I spoke with an attorney who specializes in co-op/condos. She said that since the roaches were in my apartment to begin with, the co-op has no responsibility for the problem. Basically it was my responsibility to clean the air.

  • Paularose

    Related to my post, it's obvious that the board of directors has no interest in my situation. So basically I am on my own.

  • Jen

    That's frustrating.  So…how do you plan to handle the roach situation at this point?

  • Paularose

    Jen, I am going to get another opinion from a different lawyer. Also, somebody in the community suggested contacting the ADA which I will do. Also I am going to see two different allergists this week to discuss the entire situation and to get some sort of medication to address the symptoms. After that I am at a loss on how to deal with this.

    Thanks for your response! Much obliged!


  • Kathy P

    Good luck on all those fronts. I hope the allergist can get you some symptom relief quickly while you continue to work on a better solution regarding the smoke getting in in the first place.