Profile picture for sivaprasadb

if a tenant claims bed bugs in an unfurnished rented condo- who is responsible for the eradication.

The lease states - tenant responsible for pests inside the unit. Started claiming bed bug bites, after 3 months of moving into the unit.
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January 16 2012 - Stuart
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Answers (8)

Bed bugs can easily get from one unit to another in buildings.
It happens everywhere.
Have a professional treat the unit without claiming any fault for the infestation or go to the condo association and have them treat the building.
Do the right thing.
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January 23 2012
It really depends on what is in the lease agreement already and when the bed bugs were noticed. If you had just moved in, and immediately found the presence of an infestation, the liability would most likely fall onto the homeowner. Additionally, if there is a neighboring owner, tenant in the condo which caused the infestation, it would also go back to being the homeowner's responsibility.

Most leases have a clause pertaining to pest infestation and their policies. If there isn't a pest inspector can come out and determine where the pests have come from, and if that is not possible contacting an attorney would be the next step.
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January 17 2012
Profile picture for Caveat Emptor
actually, the lease is rather irrelevant.

i can't draw up a lease that shirks my responsibility to provide a livable property. if an infestation occurs because of negligence on the part of the landlord (eg known infestation in bushes outside the property or pre-existing infestation when i'm moving in) then its the landlord's responsibility no matter what the lease says.

also certain infestations(like carpenter ants, wasps) would be  the tenant's responsability wall to wall(because of the lease), but the landlord would still be on the hook to take care of the building maintanance of spraying the foundation, exterior and frame of the building. generally, if the landlord did take care of these areas, the whole infestation would die off anyway.

likewise, if the tenant brings the roaches/bedbugs in and the landlord wasn't negligent, (eg i find a couch on the freeway and pack it in) then its gonna be the tenant's responsibility even if the bugs spread to the bedroom or even the walls and carpet. however, a second unit below or above or near would still be able to demand that the landlord take care of the problem as they literally and legally can't

A lease clause like that would apply in a fairly narrow range of circumstances where nobody is at fault, the infestation is mostly in the living space, and usually the landlord can document some kind of preventative measure(lack of negligence). (bedugs, flees, spiders, snakes, etc etc). it should be noted that most courts would address these infestations as being the tenant's responsibility anyway, depending on severity and cause.

the more things you put in the lease, the better, but I'm just pointing out that there unlike some clauses, the story doesn't end with the agreement.

this is why many of the answers are noting the 3 months time frame. if you had a pre-existing infestation, you would see bites within 72 hours, not 3 months later. these bedbugs were obviously brought in and irradiation will probably involve destroying the furniture and spraying the apartment.
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January 17 2012
Highlight that on the lease and provide it to the tenant. You should not need to act further.
"The lease states - tenant responsible for pests inside the unit. Started claiming bed bug bites, after 3 months of moving into the unit."
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January 17 2012
Profile picture for droopyd
"However, the opinion that counts the most is the landlord's attorney."

Actually, I suppose the opinion that counts most would be that of the judge in housing court.
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January 16 2012
As per Virginia deed of lease, the tenants have 5 days to walk through. If situation like ants, rodents or any sort of arise depending on the lease landlord may be responsible to treat the property. However if there is an evidence it was caused to lack of tenant that he/she is responsible.
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January 16 2012
There may be something in the lease that specifies who is responsible.  This post from another source may also help you:
http://www.realtown.com/articles/view/bed-bugs-and-a-landlord-s-rights-and-responsibilities 
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January 16 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I would consider that it is the tenant's responsibility.  If the bed bugs had appeared within the first week, I may have a different opinion.   However, the opinion that counts the most is the landlord's attorney.
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January 16 2012
 
Related Questions
if a tenant claims bed bugs in an unfurnished rented condo- who is responsible for the eradication.
Profile picture for Rita A. Walker
Latest answer by Rita A. Walker
January 23 2012 | 8 answers
  • Asked by sivaprasadb
  • In Landlords
  • January 16 2012
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