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Are Bed Bugs the Landlord's Responsibility in CA?

Bedbugs are one of the worst household pests that may infest single-unit houses, apartments, and even hotels. They’re difficult to detect and eliminate, which is why it’s better to let professional bed bug exterminators handle the problem. But for tenants who rent apartment units in CA, finding out who should pay for the bed bug extermination costs is a tricky problem.

So are landlords responsible for treating bed bug infestations in CA? According to the implied warranty of habitability, landlords are required to ensure that their tenants live in units with habitable conditions. Having a bedbug infestation in the apartment they own is a breach of this agreement, which is why they should be responsible for contacting pest control services and paying for the extermination costs.

Who Should Pay for Bed Bug Extermination Services?

Bed bugs are tiny, blood-sucking insects found in mattresses, furniture, and tiny crevices around the house. This type of pest infestation is common – about 1 out of 5 Americans has already encountered bed bugs in houses, apartments, or hotel rooms at least once.

What makes bed bugs a huge problem for homeowners and landlords is that they’re quick to spread but difficult to detect. Most bedbug infestations seem like they happened overnight because they’re only noticeable when the problem is already severe.

If you suspect a bedbug infestation in your rented apartment in CA, the best you can do is report the infestation to the landlord and wait for them to treat the bedbug issue. The bedbug laws in California require landlords to provide habitable conditions for their tenants, but the renters should also play their part in keeping the unit clean.

Landlord’s Responsibility in CA

The responsibility of preventing and exterminating bed bugs in the rental unit falls on the landlord or property owner’s shoulders. Here are some of the most important California bedbug laws that landlords should remember and tenants should be aware of:

  • Civil Code 1942.5 – This law prevents landlords from retaliating against tenants who reported the possible bedbug infestation. This means landlords can’t evict tenants for any reason like nonpayment of rent until the bedbugs are gone.
  • Civil Code 1954.602 – This law prohibits landlords from renting, leasing, or even showing a unit that they know has bed bugs. Property owners aren’t required to inspect the units for bedbugs, but having an approved bedbug clearance document from a pest control service provider helps protect landlords from bed bug lawsuits.
  • Civil Code 1954.603 – This law requires landlords and property owners to distribute pamphlets or brochures that contain information about bed bugs to all of their tenants. They should also notify tenants about the treatment plan for suspected or confirmed infestations in the property.
  • Civil Code 1954.604 – This law states that landlords should schedule follow-up and maintenance treatments of the infested units and the surrounding areas until the bedbugs are gone for good.
  • Civil Code 1954.605 – This law requires landlords to notify the tenants about the pest control company’s findings within two days after the inspection. They should also show the actual report to the residents instead of putting out their own interpretation to prevent misinformation from spreading.

What To Do If There are Bed Bugs in the Apartment

If there are bedbugs in your CA apartment, make sure to follow these steps:

  • Take photos of the different signs of bedbug infestation in the unit and inform your landlord about the problem. Make sure to gather enough evidence in case you decide to sue the landlord later on.
  • Wait for the landlord to contact bed bug exterminators and solve the problem. Landlords are usually given a fixed number of days to solve the problem until they’re deemed negligent.
  • While waiting for the landlord to treat the bedbugs, make sure to protect yourself from the pests. Consult with a doctor if you experience allergic reactions to bedbug bites.
  • If the landlord doesn’t do anything about the problem, file a complaint to the local housing authority. Make sure to consult with a bedbug attorney first to find out what kind of actions you may take against a negligent landlord.

What Should You Do About Unresponsive Landlords?

Landlords are usually given a specific amount of time to call bed bug exterminators and eliminate the bedbug infestation. But if they failed to take care of the bedbug problem, the renter has the following options:

  • Withhold rent until the bedbugs have been exterminated
  • Hire a pest control company to eradicate the bedbugs then deduct the bed bug extermination costs from the monthly rent
  • Move out and break the lease
  • Sue the landlord for any harm or trauma that the bedbug infestation caused

However, it’s extremely important to consult with an attorney or local housing authority first before choosing any of these options. Acting rashly without understanding what the law states may lead to serious consequences like paying a huge fine.

When Are the Tenants Responsible for Extermination Costs?

Keeping the apartment free of bedbugs requires both the tenants and landlords to maintain the unit’s cleanliness. While landlords are responsible for paying the bed bug extermination costs, they also have the right to sue the renter if they prove that the latter caused the infestation.

Bed bug extermination costs are quite expensive because these pests are difficult to eliminate for good. Unfortunately, tenants can’t rely on renters’ insurance to pay for these fees. Most renters’ insurance policies only cover unexpected losses like fire or hurricane damage.

Solve Your Bed Bug Problems with California Bed Bug Exterminators

The best way to deal with bedbugs is to keep the property clean and prevent them from even reaching the unit in the first place. But if these pests still managed to infest the apartment, it’s better to call pest management professionals like California Bed Bug Exterminators to handle the problem instead of trying out DIY treatments.

California Bed Bug Exterminators is a trusted pest control company that utilizes effective IPM-based treatments to eliminate these pests without harming the tenants, the property, or the environment. Call us now to book an appointment and get rid of the bedbugs for good.

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