Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County is home to more than 500,000 residents, many of whom live in the city of Annapolis. Unfortunately, in addition to its human inhabitants, Anne Arundel County is also home to a large population of bed bugs.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bug bites are not “annoying but harmless.” Bed bug bites can cause infections, leave permanent scars, and can even trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock. Medical studies have also linked bed bug bites to potentially fatal illnesses such as Chagas Disease and Hepatitis B.
Put simply, you need to take prompt action before the situation escalates. However, you may not be responsible for paying for extermination. You could even be entitled to compensation for injuries and/or property damage. To start discussing your situation in a free and completely private case evaluation, call the apartment bed bug attorneys of Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 today.
Anne Arundel County Code: Is My Landlord Liable for Bed Bug Extermination?
In 2012, Anne Arundel County had 51,371 renter-occupied apartments. If your apartment has a bed bug infestation, it’s a serious matter that demands immediate attention. However, renters in Anne Arundel County are not always liable for expenses related to professional pest control and extermination.
We have summarized some of the relevant codes that set forth responsibility for exterminating bed bugs in Anne Arundel County. Please note that the codes may have changed since we posted them, and that we do not guarantee the accuracy of these codes. Before relying on these codes, we suggest that you contact an attorney.
15-4-201: Property Maintenance Code: Adoption.
The “2003 International Property Maintenance Code” as published by the International Code Council, Inc., is adopted by reference as the property maintenance code for Anne Arundel County, with the additions, insertions, omissions, and changes set forth in the Supplement.
International Property Maintenance Code, Section 308: Extermination
- 308.1 Infestation – This section states that all structures need to be free of infestation by insects and rodents like rats and mice. If a structure does have an infestation issue, then the pests must be exterminated in a safe manner that doesn’t harm human health. Once extermination is complete, precautions must be taken to avoid future infestations from recurring.
- 308.2 Owner – This section states that owners of all structures are responsible for pest extermination before renting or leasing the building or units therein.
- 308.3 Single occupant – Under this section, occupants of the following are responsible for pest extermination:
- One-Family Dwellings
- Single-Tenant Nonresidential Structures
- 308.4 Multiple occupancy – This section states that the owner is responsible for pest extermination if the structure contains “two or more dwelling units” (e.g. two or more apartment units). This extends to shared areas of the property, like rec rooms, hallways/stairwells, and basements.
- 308.5 Occupant – This section states that occupants of all structures are responsible for keeping the property pest-free once extermination has been completed.
- 308.6 Prevention – This section states that all dwellings, including “multiple dwelling[s], rooming house[s] [and] accessory structures” must be maintained in a way that will prevent infestation from occurring.
In many cases, infestation persists or re-occurs due to the landlord’s negligence in treating the infestation. For example, if re-infestation occurs because a landlord uses ineffective bug spray or other “Do-It-Yourself” remedies instead of hiring a professional pest control company, the landlord may be liable for resulting expenses (such as property replacement or medical bills). Our attorneys will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Anne Arundel County Contact Info
In addition to speaking with your landlord and retaining an attorney, you may wish to contact the following Anne Arundel County offices for additional assistance and information:
- Anne Arundel County Department of Health – (410) 222-7095
- Anne Arundel County Code Compliance Division – (410) 222-7780
If you or one of your loved ones was injured after being bitten by bed bugs, or if you are a renter and your landlord has been negligent in his or her handling of your building or unit’s infestation, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Compensation can help to cover your medical bills, make up for lost income, and restore financial losses arising from property replacement.
To arrange for a free and confidential legal consultation with an experienced bed bug litigation attorney, call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000. While our law offices are located in Towson, we are prepared to handle cases arising in Annapolis and throughout Anne Arundel County, including but not limited to Highland Beach, Brooklyn Park, Deale, Crownsville, Pasadena, Parole, Lake Shore, Herald Harbor, Cape Saint Claire, and Mayo.