If my apartment complex is making me pay $1848 for bed bug treatment, do I have the right to say no?

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If my apartment complex is making me pay $1848 for bed bug treatment, do I have the right to say no?

If yes, how do I make them pay the amount? They had 2 ineffective treatment several months ago. Even after I told them to get a heat treatment, they got the apartment treated with their contracted pest control company. Latest heat treatment was done last month. Now they are charging me, stating that it is their company policy and also bed bugs are not brought by complex people.

Asked on November 24, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is normally responsible for the cost of pest-control or -removal treatments. However, if the tenant caused the infestation, such as by not keeping his/her apartment in a clean, hygienic condition, or prevented the problem from being fixed or corrected, such as by not following instructions from the exterminators or landlord about how to help treatment or avoid recurrence, then the tenant could be responsible to pay. The issue is not company policy, but fault: if the tenant is at fault, he or she may have to pay.

If the landlord thinks you are responsible for the multiple treatments and cost, the landlord could either look to take the money out of  your security deposit or could sue you for the cost. If you disagree, you could either defend a lawsuit--e.g. present evidence that you are not responsible--or sue the landlord to recover money which was taken out of your deposit.


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