What rights do I have if my apartment is infested with bed bugs?

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What rights do I have if my apartment is infested with bed bugs?

I moved into new apartment on 07/06. In the first week, I was bit over 70 times by bed bugs. I notified the property manager (it’s corporate) and he was quick to get the place sprayed. However, I’m still getting bitten. I’ve had hives that the doctor says is most probably caused by bed bug bites. My place has been sprayed 5 times and I’m still getting bitten. Property manger acknowledges some apartments are having huge bed bug problems. Bites have been reduced to 3 times a night now. I’ve spent over $1000 on doctor’s bills, dry cleaning, and misc.

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is what's known as an "implied warranty of habitability." This a term implied to residential leases which states that the premises must be safely inhabitable: clean, hygeniec--and no pest or bug infestations. If a landlord violates this warranty, there are several different possible remedies: suing for monetary damages; paying yourself to fix the problem and then later recovering the money from the landlord in some fashion; getting a court order forcing the landlord to correct the situation; and/or be able to terminate the lease without penalty. You should consult with an attorney, preferably one with landlord-tenant experience, to discuss your situation and determine what your best recourse is. Good luck.


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