Landlord And Tenant Duties Regarding Bed Bugs
Tenants and landlords - bed bugs in residential premises. The act requires a tenant to promptly notify the tenant's landlord via written or electronic notice when the tenant knows or reasonably suspects that the tenant's dwelling unit contains bed bugs. A tenant who gives the notice electronically shall send it only to the e-mail address, telephone number, or electronic portal specified by the landlord in the rental agreement for communications. In the absence of such a provision in the rental agreement, the tenant shall communicate with the landlord in a manner that the landlord has previously used to communicate with the tenant. The tenant shall retain sufficient proof of the delivery of the electronic notice.
Not more than 96 hours after receiving notice of the presence or possible presence of bed bugs, a landlord:
- Shall inspect or obtain an inspection by a qualified inspector of the dwelling unit; and
- May enter the dwelling unit or any contiguous unit for the purpose of conducting the inspection.
If the inspection of a dwelling unit confirms the presence of bed bugs, the landlord shall also cause to be performed an inspection of all contiguous dwelling units as promptly as is reasonably practical.
With certain exceptions, a landlord is responsible for all costs associated with inspection for, and treatment of, the presence of bed bugs.
If a landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent must enter a dwelling unit for the purpose of conducting an inspection for, or treating the presence of, bed bugs, the landlord shall provide the tenant reasonable written or electronic notice before the landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent attempts to enter the dwelling unit. A tenant who receives the notice shall not unreasonably deny access to the dwelling unit.
A tenant shall comply with reasonable measures to permit the inspection for, and treatment of, the presence of bed bugs, and the tenant is responsible for all costs associated with preparing the tenant's dwelling unit for inspection and treatment. A tenant who knowingly and unreasonably fails to comply with inspection and treatment requirements is liable for the cost of subsequent bed bug treatments of the dwelling unit and contiguous units if the need for the treatments arises from the tenant's noncompliance.
If any furniture, clothing, equipment, or personal property belonging to a tenant is found to contain bed bugs, the qualified inspector shall advise the tenant that the furniture, clothing, equipment, or personal property should not be removed from the dwelling unit until a pest control agent determines that a bed bug treatment has been completed. The tenant shall not dispose of personal property that was determined to contain bed bugs in any common area where such disposal may risk the infestation of other dwelling units.
A landlord shall not offer for rent a dwelling unit that the landlord knows or reasonably suspects contains bed bugs. Upon request from a prospective tenant, a landlord shall disclose to the prospective tenant whether, to the landlord's knowledge, the dwelling unit that the landlord is offering for rent contained bed bugs within the previous 8 months. Upon request from a tenant or a prospective tenant, a landlord shall disclose the last date, if any, on which a dwelling unit being rented or offered for rent was inspected for, and found to be free of, bed bugs.
A landlord who fails to comply with the requirements of the act is liable to the tenant for the tenant's actual damages. A landlord may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain injunctive relief against a tenant who refuses to provide reasonable access to a dwelling unit or fails to comply with a reasonable request for inspection or treatment of a dwelling unit.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)