What are the responsibilities of a landlord with a bedbug infestation?

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What are the responsibilities of a landlord with a bedbug infestation?

I moved into an infested apartment unknowing of a pre-existing bedbug infestation, they are growing in numbers and I’m facing having to move and replace all of my furniture, what are my rights and what can I hold them accountable for?

Asked on May 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

All leases have what's known as the "implied warranty of habitability." This is a term, added to all leases (even if it's not added in writing) by the law, which states that the premises must be inhabitable for its stated purpose--in this case, a residence. Among other things, the warranty requires landlords to take care of vermin and pest infestations. You can certainly require the landlord to exterminate; if it is the case that the landlord was negligent (or careless) in terms of taking care of the bedbugs, or worse, willfully ignored them, you may be able to receive monetary damages or compensation as well. You should speak with a landlord-tenant attorney about your rights and recourse, and if you cannot afford one, try contacting legal aid or legal services.


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