does a landlord have the right to evict if you refuse to throw away your furniture due to bed bugs that were there before u moved in

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does a landlord have the right to evict if you refuse to throw away your furniture due to bed bugs that were there before u moved in

moved in 3/20/09 was informed 5/6/09 to throw out my furniture due to infestation of bed bugs. If I refuse they will kick me out. I never had bed bugs till I moved here is it fair to punish me and demand me to throw out all my furniture and not replace or be willing to pay damages. the bed bugs came from a nasty apt that was evicted after i moved in

Asked on May 10, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you have to prove that the bed bugs were from your apt and not from your furniture or you.  In other words, your landlord has to protect the health and safety of other tenants, and hygene issues are among them, including preventing bed bugs. 

In terms of you, if your apt was the source, then that is a habitability issue.  Meaning, your apt must be habitable.  If you have such an infestation, and you truly believe and can prove it is not you but the apt , then you should call the health dept.  Your landlord cannot kick you out, but the health dept may require your furniture to be replaced.  In terms of who pays, if it is your landlord's fault, he must pay. 

If you are scared to call, contact legal aid or a private atty in your state to determine your next steps.  Try www.attorneypages.com for a private lawyer or Tennessee legal aid.  also try your local councilperson to see if there is a dept within Tennessee that handles landlord tenant issues.


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