What to do if after informing management of a bed bug infestation, I have been told I am solely to blame and responsible for all costs?

I reported the presence of the pests (parasites, actually) as soon as I discovered them. They were responsive and had the exterminator on site the next day, but then put an “agreement” in my door to begin treatment in which I accept fault and sole burden of costs. What burden of proof is required to “prove” this is my doing and short of that are they still responsible for the “Warranty of Habitability?”

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord is liable for the implied and express warranties of habitability; however, you are also responsible for not bringing infestations in the apartment and any damages you cause as a tenant are solely your responsibility, even if those are improvements (like painting). So, if the landlord did not have a bed bug infestation before, and no other tenant complained of bed bugs and you either newly moved in or purchased or brought in used furniture (like couches) or mattresses or just came back from vacation somewhere, then it would be up to you to show this was not your doing. So, you may wish to put the burden back on the landlord if the above don't apply to you and have him explain himself and explain you will not sign any documents assigning fault to you and placing the burden of costs on you. If you have to complain to the state attorney general or local HUD office if it handles landlord tenant matters, then do so.


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