Do landlords have to pay to exterminate bed bugs if the tenants got them after they have moved in?

They were not here when we moved in.

Asked on January 17, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The laws on this vary from state-to-state. That being said, the general rule is that a landlord must pay for the extermination of bedbugs; it is an infestation the same as mice, roaches, etc. This all has to do with the "implied warranty of habitability", wwhich states that under a residential lease, a premises must be in a safe and sanitary condition (i.e "habitable"); this includes pest infestations.

If a landlord violates this warranty, there are several possible remedies that are available to a tenant. They can: 1) sue for monetary damages; 2) pay to fix and repair the problemthemselves and then deduct the cost from their rent; or 3) get a court order forcing the landlord to correct the situation; and/or 3) terminate their lease without penalty.

At point, you should consult with an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant cases or speak with a local tenant's rights organization.

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