What is a landlord’s responsibility to treat for bed bugs?

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What is a landlord’s responsibility to treat for bed bugs?

I currently have bed bugs for the third time. The rent-to-own place covered the cost of the first 2 treatments because we rented a couch from them. We no longer have the couch, so they will not cover the expense. What if I have proof from the pest control company saying that the bugs came from the apartments?

Asked on April 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The laws vary from state-to. However, the general rule is that the landlord must pay for the extermination of bedbugs.  It is an infestation much the same as mice, roaches, etc.  Under t circumstances, your landlord should exterminate your whole building.  This all has to do with what is called an "implied warranty of habitability." This a term implied to residential leases which states that the premises must be in a safe and sanitary condition (i.e  "habitable") and this includes pest or bug infestations.

Note:  If a landlord violates this warranty, there are several possible remedies: suing for monetary damages; paying yourself to fix and repair the problem and then deducting the cost from your rent; getting a court order forcing the landlord to correct the situation; and/or being able to terminate your lease without penalty.

You should consult with an attorney that specializes in landlord-tenant matters or speak with a tenant's rights group in your area.


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