As a renter, you legally have the right to live in a habitable apartment. If your residence has certain defects, your landlord must fix the issue. This obligation extends to bed bug infestations as well.
Bed bugs are one of the leading causes of problems plaguing apartments in New York. New York is listed as the second-worst state for bed bugs in the country. Fortunately, there are many options available to you if you come across an infestation in your apartment. Your landlord should have provided you with an infestation history as well.
What should you do if you find bed bugs?
Once you find bed bugs in your apartment, you want to let the landlord know as soon as possible. They should hire an exterminator to enter the apartment and identify if bed bugs are the source of the infestation. The exterminator will attempt to eradicate any bed bugs and locate the source of the problem.
If the exterminator claims the source of the invasion occurred elsewhere, the landlord will cover the complete cost of hiring an exterminator. Otherwise, if you were the source of the problem, you may have to pay any fees relating to the extermination process.
New York requirements for landlords
New York law categorizes bed bugs as class B violations. This means that bed bugs are hazardous and your landlord must eliminate the infestation within 30 days and ensure the area does not become infested again. Your landlord is also legally required to provide you with a history of bed bug infestation before you move in. This notice includes any outbreaks within the last year. If you did not receive this notice, you have legal grounds to sue your landlord for withholding this information.
If your landlord is not taking action to eliminate the problem or never provided you with a history of infestation, you might want to talk with an experienced attorney. New York law obligates your landlord to remove any bed bugs within 30 days and if they do not meet this requirement, you could be entitled to compensation.