Tenants’ Rights and You: Bed Bug Treatment for Apartment Managers

Bed bud infestation is something that can happen in any building, regardless of how new or old. As an apartment manager or landlord, it is vital that you work with your tenants to keep the living environment free from bed bugs. Understanding tenants’ rights can help this process to run smoothly and keep you in sync with both ethical and legal obligations.

Tenants and Management Working Together Is the Best Strategy

Prep 4 Bed Bugs, a New York-based company that helps people prepare their residence for beg bug extermination, says that cooperation between manager, tenants, and pest control companies is the key to early detection. “[Once bed bugs find their way into one unit, they] can easily migrate from one apartment to another through cracks in crevices, wall, and voids around shared conduits, electrical, plumbing, and heating.”

Treating the Problem Is More Effective Than Finding Fault

Determining fault is not always easy and may not even be possible. “Bed bugs are easily carried by humans from place to place as they hitchhike on luggage, furniture, mattresses, sometimes even clothes. So, if someone sits in a public area or visits a home or hotel, bed bugs could hitchhike. In this case, it’s neither the building nor the tenant’s fault,” says Prep 4 Bed Bugs. The most important thing is to rid the building of bed bugs. Assigning blame without proof will only lead to an adversarial relationship with your tenants.

A Checklist to Prepare for Treatment

Should bed bugs be detected in an apartment, state-of-the-art treatment methods are available. To properly prepare tenants for bed bug treatment, Sniff K9’s offers a Tenant Preparation Guide.

How to Respect Your Tenants in Bed Bug Treatment

While legalities vary depending on your lease agreements and local laws, attorney Susie Lein offers some general tips. Respecting tenants’ rights will not only help you to prevent or eradicate bed bugs, but to do so to the benefits of all concerned:

  • Ideally, your leases should state the rights and responsibilities of both your tenants and you about pest control.
  • If your leases do not contain specific language, be sure to communicate with your tenants about your intentions to enter their apartment or spray for bed bugs. A notice of 24 hours is generally considered enough, but refer to your local requirements for what’s proper.
  • Your tenant has the right to expect prompt treatment for any bed bug infestations, whether or not it originated in their apartment. You can possibly recover costs, but it is essential that you act promptly and not wait for any payment due you by the tenant or tenants.
  • Contact your attorney to shore up any points that are not clearly defined in the lease.

Early Detection Is Key

In nearly all states, the landlord is 100 percent responsible for all inspection and extermination cost and for treble damages and rent abatement for ongoing infestations. The key to mitigating damage is to handle it decisively.

By encouraging your tenants to report any bed bugs immediately and by taking quick action, you can make sure that you keep your building free of bed bugs while maintaining respect for your tenants.

Prep 4 Bed Bugs is a New York-based company that helps people to prepare their residence for bed bug extermination.

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