Across the United States, bed bugs are a menace. They can cause infection, spread diseases like Hepatitis B, and trigger serious or even life-threatening allergic reactions resulting in anaphylactic shock. In addition to the many medical problems caused by bed bug bites and infestations, other negative effects can include costly property damage and replacement, lasting emotional distress, and time missed from work and/or school while the victim is in recovery.
Unfortunately, Baltimore County no exception to this growing national issue. On the contrary, bed bugs are alive and well in Baltimore County, and are causing misery to hundreds if not thousands of renters and tenants every day. The U.S. Census reports that nearly 28% of Baltimore County’s residential structures consist of multiple units, which means about one third of the county’s population is at an elevated risk.
If you’re struggling with a bed bug apartment infestation in Baltimore County, and your landlord refuses to help, the experienced attorneys of Whitney, LLP can intervene to defend your rights as a tenant. If you became seriously ill or were injured by bed bug bites, you may even be able to recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Our knowledgeable legal team is here to answer all of your questions. To start discussing your situation in a free and completely private legal consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 583-8000. Our lines are always open.
Baltimore County Code and Landlord Liability for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult and costly to exterminate, and the burden of legal responsibility for pest control and its accompanying costs can depend on several factors. Responsibility for treating infestations is outlined by the Baltimore County Code, pertinent sections of which we have summarized below.
Please be advised that the following code section summaries have been provided to serve as a general resource for renters, and are not intended to substitute legal advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy of these codes. Victims of bed bug infestations are advised to contact one of our bed bug lawyers for up-to-date advice on legal issues such as landlord liability for bed bug infestations.
That being said, the Baltimore County Code sets forth the following statutes:
- Premises (properties) must be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition, free of infestation by pests like bed bugs and rodents. (§ 35-5-207)
- Residential structures must be kept free of infestation by pests and rodents. If an infestation is discovered, it must be promptly exterminated in a manner which does not harm or endanger human health. (§ 35-5-209(e))
- The property owner must exterminate any infestations in the building or elsewhere on the premises prior to renting or leasing any units. (§ 35-5-206(e)(1))
- If the structure only contains one housing unit, the tenant is responsible for exterminating pests in the building or on the property. (§ 35-5-206(e)(2))
- If a structure has two or more units, the owner is responsible for exterminating pests in or on the property. The only exception is when the infestation is “caused by a failure of the tenant to take reasonable action to prevent the infestation within the housing unit.” (§ 35-5-206(e)(3))
Baltimore County Health Department Contact Information
Renters and tenants who are dealing with bed bugs should call the Department of Health and Code Enforcement to report the infestation, especially in cases where the landlord refuses to provide assistance in accordance with county property code. Contact numbers for useful Baltimore County government offices are provided below:
- Baltimore County Department of Health – (410) 887-2773
- Baltimore County Code Enforcement – (410) 887-3351
You can also visit the Baltimore County Department of Health online for additional information and resources.
If you or someone in your family was bitten by bed bugs, the responsible party may be liable for damages. If you believe a landlord acted negligently with regard to an infestation in your apartment or home, contact one of our attorneys. You may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, income loss, and property damage.
However, it is very important to act rapidly. If you delay for too long, you could lose your legal recourse. The statute of limitations strictly limits the amount of time plaintiffs have in which to file claims, so call the bed bug litigation lawyers of Whitney, LLP right away at (410) 583-8000 to set up a free, confidential case evaluation. While our law offices are located in Towson, we handle cases arising throughout Baltimore County, including but not limited to White Marsh, Middle River, Essex, Catonsville, Lochearn, Rosedale, Randallstown, and Pikesville.