Do You Need to Hire a Bedbug Lawyer?
After the once commonly used pesticide DDT was banned from public use, bedbugs became a serious problem for homes and businesses throughout the U.S. Detecting bedbugs is difficult, and the treatment expensive.
Landlords have a right to protect their tenants against bedbugs, although their responsibilities vary from one state to the next.
Bedbugs: Is the Landlord to Blame?
Under a lease, a landlord has a duty to provide a tenant with habitable living conditions. This includes freedom from pests, including bedbugs. If the landlord is unable to prevent bedbugs from entering their building, they might very well be responsible for any damages a tenant sustains as the result of the pest.
Often enough, landlords hate bedbugs as much as tenants. Being bitten by a bedbug is annoying to say the least, but property owners face added expense and costs, potential lawsuits, and lost rent if a bedbug problem persists within their facility. Word-of-mouth can also quickly devastate a landlord or rental community.
A bedbug inspection performed by a landlord prior to tenant move-in is one way that landlords can protect themselves. Bedbug inspection documentation placed with the lease provision is one way that a landlord can prevent a lawsuit.
Is the Tenant At-Fault for Bedbugs?
In many bed bug cases, it is the tenant who introduced bedbugs to the property, even without knowledge of doing such. Many tenant actions may result in bedbugs being brought into the home, including through purchase of second-hand items, from friends’ houses, from hotels, from public transportation, and through other avenues.
Hygiene, or a lack thereof, isn’t responsible for bedbugs. Anyone can experience a bedbug infestation, particularly those frequently traveling. Bedbugs are notorious for traveling on suitcases and luggage.
It may take weeks or months for a bedbug discovery to be made, although they might also appear shortly after they’re brought into the home.
And so, when tenants discover them, they often look to the landlord to treat the problem, if they’re clean, and didn’t possibly bring them into the dwelling unit. In extreme cases, a tenant may even try to sue the landlord for damages.
Proving fault isn’t easy, however, so rarely is a lawsuit over a bedbug claim successful.
What Should Happen Next?
Ask questions before renting a property. If there’s ever been a problem with bedbugs at the location, the landlord must provide you this information.
If you find bedbugs in your house, notify your landlord as soon as possible. Ask neighbors and other tenants in the building if they’re experiencing bedbug problems. If a bedbug problem has spread to several units, it might be the landlord’s responsibility to treat.
You must treat the problem with bedbugs if you’re the cause of the infestation. If you do not treat the condition, it may be grounds to evict you from the property. If the cause of the infestation is unknown, splitting costs between the landlord and the tenant might be suitable. An infestation upon move in is a problem the landlord should treat.
Call a Bedbug Lawyer
Things are very complicated in bedbug situations at your rental property. If you are unsure what to do, contact a bedbug lawyer for advice, consultation, and information. If it is determined the landlord is responsible for the bedbug infestation, the lawyer can help you get what is coming to you.