Bed BugsLitigation: It's What We Do.
Bed Bug Infestation Attorney in Calabasas
Fighting for Your Bed Bug Case: Tenant and Property Rights in California
Nobody wants to think about the possibility of a bed bug infestation in their home, but unfortunately, this issue is more commonplace than you might think. In most cases, if a resident discovers bed bugs in their home, they’ll demand swift action to make the space clean and livable once more.
Is My Landlord Responsible for Taking Care of Bed Bugs?
Typically it falls under the landlord’s scope of responsibility to clear the bed bugs from the property and restore the home to its former condition. But what happens if the landlord doesn’t address the problem?
Or, what if the landlord claims the tenant brought the bed bugs onto the property? Scenarios like these can lead to stressful and complex arguments between tenants and landlords and, because of the federal and state laws in place, such issues could warrant legal action.
California law outlines specific rules for bed bug complaints relating to property law, but if you find yourself dealing with a contentious landlord or a property manager who refuses to address the issue, you might need legal help.
Let Our Team Help You
Our team at Gaines & Gaines is here to help with your bed bug infestation case. We understand the complexities of tenant and property guidelines in California and we can assess your current situation through the eyes of both state and federal laws.
Our attorneys take a client-focused approach with each of our cases so our clients always know what to expect throughout each step of the legal process. We understand how stressful and difficult these situations can be, and we want to provide you with the resources and support you need to seek justice and move forward.
Read what our clients have to say on our Testimonials page!
What Are the Rules Regarding Bed Bugs in California?
According to California Civil Code Section 1941.1, the following must be true for a property to be considered liveable:
“Building, grounds, and appurtenances at the time of the commencement of the lease or rental agreement, and all areas under control of the landlord, kept in every part clean, sanitary, and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, rodents, and vermin.”
In other words, if there is an accumulation of vermin on the premises, such as bed bugs, the property can be deemed untenantable until the issue is addressed. In response to such an issue, the tenant may sometimes have the right to withhold payment until the infestation is addressed.
Who Pays for Bed Bug Extermination in an Apartment?
Bed bug extermination in an apartment can be a costly and time-consuming process. Who pays for the extermination often depends on the specific circumstances of the infestation, and can vary from one situation to another.
- In cases where the tenant is found to be solely responsible for introducing bed bugs into the property, they are typically liable for all associated costs.
- In cases where the infestation is found to have been caused by factors outside of the tenant's control, such as poor maintenance or building defects, the landlord may be held responsible for covering all extermination costs.
It is advisable for both tenants and landlords to discuss any potential bed bug extermination costs prior to signing a lease agreement. This will help to ensure that either the tenant or landlord is not stuck with unanticipated costs should an infestation occur. Discussing these issues ahead of time can also help both parties establish clear expectations and protocols for dealing with bed bug extermination, should the need arise.
Additionally, it's important to remember that all parties involved should take responsibility for attempting to prevent and eliminate future infestations. Taking proactive steps towards prevention is the best way to ensure a safe and healthy living environment.
According to California law, landlords are required to inform tenants of any known bed bug infestations. They are also prohibited from renting or showing a property that has an active bed bug infestation and may not retaliate against tenants for reporting a bed bug infestation. And, when a landlord hires a pest control company to address the bed bug issue, they must share the findings with their tenants within two days of receiving the information.
Tenants also have certain responsibilities when it comes to bed bug infestations. California Civil Code Section 1954.604 requires tenants to cooperate with the landlords’ efforts to eradicate the bugs, including providing the landlord with information necessary for vermin detection and treatment. For example, if the landlord hired a pest control service, the tenant has a responsibility to allow the pest control company on the premises to perform their inspection or treatment.
Understanding Federal Bed Bug Property Laws
The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), has issued Notice H 2012-5 outlining the specific rules and responsibilities that apply to landlords when bed bugs are discovered on a property. Included in this document are guidelines that forbid landlords from charging tenants for the cost of bed bug treatment. In most cases, the landlord is deemed responsible for maintaining their property and restoring it to rights if bed bugs are present.
Do You Have a Bed Bug Infestation Case?
We always encourage our clients to handle disputes outside of court whenever possible, but we understand that sometimes further measures are required to ensure you live in a healthy, safe environment.
We can help if you’re currently dealing with the aftermath of a bed bug infestation, such as:
- Disputes over payment for extermination
- Issues getting your landlord to take action to eradicate the bed bugs
- Withholding rent in response to a bed bug issue
- Or, another similar problem
Our lawyers can assess the circumstances of your bed bug dispute and establish a legal plan to pursue justice on your behalf.
Our firm has more than five decades of experience and we are committed to helping each of our clients work towards a favorable outcome for their case. Call (866) 400-4450 today to discuss your case with our Calabasas bed bug tenant law attorneys or contact us online.