Who is reasponsible for bed bug control in a multi-family dwelling?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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Who is reasponsible for bed bug control in a multi-family dwelling?

I live in a duplex a week or so, after my neighbor moved out. The bugs moved to my side.

Asked on July 28, 2011 Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, it is the landlord who is responsible for pest control, including bedbugs, under the "implied warranty of habitability," which is the requirement that a leased space be fit for its intended purpose. In the case of a residence, that means vermin/pest free (or at least reasonably so; it's usually impossible to confirm elimination of 100% of everything, but any obvious infestations must be dealt with).

The exceptions are:

1) If a tenant causes the infestation (e.g. bad hygience, leaves garbage out, etc.), then while the landlord must treat the issue if it's threatening other tenants, he can seek reimbursement  from the one who caused it.

2) If the lease specifically says that the tenant is responsible, since the parties to a lease can agree to shift certain costs.

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