Apartments – Landlord’s Responsibility

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Landlord Responsibility For Bed Bugs

If you are a tenant who has become the victim of a bed bug infestation, getting your landlord to accept responsibility is an uphill battle at best. Be prepared for you landlord or your landlord’s insurance carrier to accuse you of creating the problem by not keeping your apartment clean.  At The Felicetti Law Firm P.C., we want you to know that cleanliness, or the lack of it, does not cause bed bug problems. Landlords and property owners can be held responsible for the damages you suffer because of living conditions made uninhabitable by bed bugs.

A landlord’s obligation to notify tenants of a problem

Some states have enacted laws requiring disclosure to prospective tenants by property owners who are aware that an apartment or building has a history of past or current bed bug problems. Even in states that have not included bed bugs as an issue that must be disclosed to tenants, a landlord who fails to take corrective measures or tries to conceal the condition could be liable for the payment of compensation to tenants who are bitten.

Bed bug bites and responsibility of landlords

When you move into an apartment or other rental property, the landlord is required by law to provide you with habitable conditions in which to live. A landlord who violates the obligation to deliver habitable premises can be sued for recovery of the damages you incur, including:

  • Medical expenses to treat the injuries you or your family members suffer from being bitten
  • Pain and suffering attributed to bed bug bites
  • Future medical expenses for surgery to correct scarring caused by the bed bug bites
  • The replacement cost of your personal property damaged by the infestation, including bedding,
    clothing and furniture
  • Compensation for emotional anguish and anxiety caused by your injuries
  • Lost earnings because you were unable to work
  • The cost of temporary housing for you and your family while the infestation was being treated

A landlord might be unaware that a bed bug problem exists in a building, but once you give notice of the infestation your landlord is legally responsible to take corrective action. Bed bugs reproduce at an alarming rate, so any delay by your landlord in arranging for remediation will only add to the problem you are already experiencing and increase the damages you suffer.

Keeping records is important when dealing with a landlord

Your landlord might try to avoid liability to pay compensation to you by denying that you gave notice of the problem. Protect yourself against this by giving notice in writing to the landlord or to the property manager, and keep a copy of it with a notation of the date and time it was delivered and the name of the person to whom it was given.

Enforcing your rights as a tenant my require representation by skilled
legal counsel

Bed bugs are difficult to eliminate, so landlords should not attempt do-it-yourself remedies. Killing the adult insects can leave behind eggs that will continue the infestation once they hatch. If you are a tenant who has suffered injuries due to a bed bug infestation, contact The Felicetti Law Firm P.C. to speak to an attorney about your compensation rights against your landlord. Call us today at (800) 707-1954 to schedule an appointment,


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