Apartment Bed Bugs | RPA Tenant Rights Blog


Written by Admin, Published on October 4th, 2019

By Ronnie Gustin

Does Your Apartment Have Bed Bugs?

A couple of weeks ago I had dozens of bites showing up on my arms and legs. I have sensitive skin, so I switched laundry detergent thinking that I was somehow having a reaction to the soap but then I saw a tiny little bug thats where my bed bug problem all started.

When I approached my landlord about treating the apartment complex, he refused and immediately tried to hold me responsible for treating my apartment for bed bugs. I didnt think that was right. Luckily my professor referred me to the RPA and explained that the best option would be to start with a formal complaint. So, I did. (Problem is now solved!!)

I wanted to create a post to help other tenants suffering with a bed bug infested Apartment: (so heres my experience)

Do you have bed bugs?

Look for signs to determine if you have bed bugs. Everyone reacts differently to their bites. I found some research that indicated that some people have little to no reaction to bed bug bites (lucky for them).

Indications of Bed Bug Presence:

How to check for bed bugs

What do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Now I could just tell you that bed bugs are bout 4mm big and have an amber color, but instead I though I would find some pictures for you. If youre lucky enough to spot a bed bug, you can identify it by looking at the following pictures: (Courteousof Wikipedia, thank you)

How to get rid of bed bugs

DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:

DO THE FOLLOWING( Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Yourself)

Who is Responsible For Bed Bug Treatment Cost?

Most likely, after approaching your landlord you will immediately get frustrated. Many times landlords will attempt to hold tenants responsible for treatment cost. In fact, I read of cases where tenants have contacted the landlord about bed bugs just to be forced to pay for treatment by their own treatment company. (many times costing $800 to $2000) Then, if you dont pay you get evicted. Luckily, after I went my landlord I researched the topic and got some great advice. The best advice came from my law professor who told me how landlords are responsible to provide a habitable apartment. Landlords renting out an apartment that is infested by bed bugs can be in breach of the impliedhabitability warranty which requires landlords to provide a safelivableunit. Bed bugs are classified as parasites, so unlike other infestations; bed bugs are even more a breach of implied warranty of habitability than other bugs. With that said, it is clear that landlords are fully responsible for bed bug treatment. (However, if you feel like you were responsible for the infestation then ethically, you should be somewhat responsible. It could be possible that you moved from a previously infested apartment, or that you stayed in an infested motel.) My professor referred me to the Rental Protection Agency and told me that in a bed bug case its best to create a legal paper trail as soon as possible and recommended that I immediately file a complaint to establish a formal paper trail and documentation. So, thats what I did.

Filing a Bed Bug Complaint:

Filing a complaint with the RPA allowed me to document the bed bug problem before my landlord could attempt to place me at fault. Here is the process:

I know how stressful it is to have an apartment with bed bugs. I hope my experience can help others struggling with this exact process. Im so glad there are programs out there to protect tenants rights. All the best!

Ronnie GustinLaw Student (USC | Law School)(Im not an bar licensed lawyer. The above info

was based upon my experience and not intended

as legal advice.)

Edited on: Friday, March 11th, 2011 12:38 pm

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