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Bed Bug Infestations – Legal Tips For Tenants

Bed bug infestations are still on the increase and the National Pest Management Association has stated that the number of  reported infestations have almost reached pandemic proportions.

Finding you have a bed bug infestation can be stressful. For those living in rented accommodation,  the problem can often be made worse by  landlords who are unwilling to provide pest control.

Frances Campbell  is an attorney specializing in tenant’s rights. Following the report from Terminix she  produced a guide.  The aim being to give individuals a better understanding of  how they can protect themselves  against bed bug infestations.

Ms Campbell offers the following tips;

* Make sure you ask any potential landlord if there has ever been a bed bug infestation in the property. It is a good idea to have someone with you, who would be willing to act as a witness if necessary.  This friend must be in a position to say with out doubt that you ask the question and  you received an proper reply. Also, find out  if the landlord has a bed bug protocol in writing.

* You don’t want to risk moving into a bed bug infested unit. Equally, you don’t want to be accused by the landlord of causing an infestation in the unit. Therefore, it is in your interest to have your potential new home checked over by a  pest control expert. Some landlords may not be willing to allow this. In which case, take the  pest control expert along as a “friend” when you view the property. The report may be useful in future.

* Bed bugs in apartment blocks tend not to be found in just one unit. They will spread fairly quickly throughout the whole building if not dealt with quickly. It is essential that any tenant finding themselves with a bed bug infestation should notify the landlord in writing immediately. Your landlord should employ a qualified pest control expert to deal with the problem.

Laws vary from state to state. However, in general,  if you are living in a single family property the landlord must deal with any bed bug infestation when you first take up residence.  In some states this responsibility  stays with the landlord throughout your tenancy. In a property with more than one family in residence the landlord has an obligation to provide pest control at all times.

* Should you find you have a bed bug infestation,  make a claim at your local health department, department of building safety,housing department or code compliance department.

* Make sure that you see a doctor concerning bed bug bites. Get his/her diagnosis mentioning bed bugs recorded in your medical records, again this will act as proof of the problem.

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