What to do if I had bed bugs and lost everything in my house?

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What to do if I had bed bugs and lost everything in my house?

I called and left messages for my landlord and she told me that it was nothing she could do. She just informed me that someone was coming to exterminate my unit tomorrow now that I have thrown everything out. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on November 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A landlord does not need to be perfect or provide an absolutely pest-free space; she only has to take "reasonable" steps to deal with pest infestations once she becomes aware of them. If shortly after you told the landlord there are bed bugs, she scheduled extermination, she has most likely fulfilled her responsibilities and does not owe you anything. On the other hand, if the landlord ignored warnings about bedbugs, which is why the situation got so bad, she may be liable for your belongings IF you *had* to throw them out (e.g. putting them in plastic bags for a month, then cleaning them, was not an option), though if she refuses to pay voluntarily, you would have to sue to recover money.


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