Bed Bug Apartment Infestations in Maryland
Whitney, LLP represents tenants in apartment bed bug and hotel bed bug cases throughout Maryland, and consultations are always free. Call us now at (410) 583-8000, or use our quick contact form to tell us about your potential bed bug apartment infestation in Maryland case or to ask a question about bed bugs and your legal rights.
We file lawsuits in many of our cases and have recovered some of the largest bed bug verdicts in the United States. Some of our bed bug case settlements are also listed here. We have recovered over $14 million in settlements and judgments for our bed bug clients and are often referred to by other attorneys.
Several of the locations that we handle apartment infestations in Maryland include:
- Anne Arundel County
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
- Charles County
- Howard County
- Montgomery County
- Ocean City
- Prince George’s County
A city or county code will generally set forth whether the landlord or the tenant is responsible for paying for extermination depending on the county or city you reside in, whether Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, MD, or otherwise. These local laws vary by jurisdiction, with some laws providing more protection than others for tenants.
Laws Regarding Bed Bugs in Maryland Apartments
Maryland law requires residential apartments to be free of all insect infestations, including bed bugs, when the lease begins. When landlords lease a bedbug-infested apartment, the tenant and their family can suffer bed bug bites, mental and emotional distress, property damage, and other economic damages. We have successfully recovered compensation for all of these damages and have helped many clients break the lease due to a bed bug apartment infestation in Maryland.
In other apartment bed bug cases, a tenant will begin to be bitten long after moving in, and the landlord fails to promptly exterminate the infestation. When landlords have a duty to fix the infestation and do not do it promptly, they are negligent, and the injured person can seek compensation for their injuries. Many landlords use ineffective self-treatment or have their untrained maintenance staff spray random chemicals, which can make the infestation worse.
If you live in Baltimore City or Ocean City, MD, or anywhere in between, call the experienced bed bug attorneys at Whitney, LLP. You have legal rights that allow you to seek compensation for the bodily injury, emotional distress, property damage, and lost wages that a bed bug infestation caused you to suffer. We have successfully resolved many cases involving tenants being bitten by bed bugs in apartments. Whether you just moved in or have been in the apartment for a long time, we have experience resolving these claims and recovering compensation for our clients.
When living in a bedbug-infested apartment that is multi-unit, tenants want to know if they can stop paying rent. Under Maryland law, a landlord is obligated to correct defects and conditions that constitute a serious and substantial threat to occupants’ life, health, or safety. If after a reasonable time a landlord refuses or fails to correct such conditions, the tenant has two options: (1) the tenant may bring an action of rent escrow to pay rent into escrow, or (2) the tenant may refuse to pay rent and raise the existence of the asserted conditions as an affirmative defense to an action for rent otherwise due under the lease.
Some jurisdictions have enacted local codes to provide tenants with safeguards for alleviating severe conditions that, if not promptly corrected, constitute a substantial threat to the health of the occupants. Baltimore County, MD, for instance, has adopted a “Livability Code,” which establishes minimum maintenance standards for clean, safe, and sanitary residential dwelling units, including freedom from infestation. In Baltimore County, a structure must be kept free from infestation from insects, and when the infestation is found, the landlord is obligated to promptly control and eliminate the insects.
Your Rights Under Maryland State Law Regarding Bed Bugs
Generally speaking, owners of premises must maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition and have a duty to warn of any unsafe conditions. Insect or other pest-related apartment infestations in Maryland are by and large considered “unsafe,” being both unsanitary and potentially harmful.
Premises liability claims typically focus on a negligence theory; that is, by allowing the condition to exist or failing to warn of the associated danger, owners of the premises at issue have been unable to meet the standard created by the duty of care that they owe to their tenants. A claimant can recover on this theory when an owner’s breach of its duty leads to some injury on the claimant’s part – whether to their person or property.
Recent cases indicate that claimants will be awarded compensatory damages to the extent that claimants can demonstrate actual losses related to infestation. Recovery may also be sought for the costs for physical harm caused by the bites, scarring, mental distress, and loss of consortium for married couples, as well as replacing personal property that was damaged or needed to be disposed of along the way.
Under the laws of most states, punitive damages are a mechanism by which to address the willful and wanton misconduct of a person or entity. In essence, they comprise some appreciable amount beyond that needed to address a claimant’s actual losses (covered by compensatory damages) as a measure of punishment for the defendant’s outrageous conduct and a means of deterring such activity in the future.
Documenting the problem and any resulting loss is of critical importance for evidentiary purposes. Should a claimant’s case be strong enough to warrant recovery, the court will require sufficient proof of the extent of the damage suffered in order to aid in the determination of what should be awarded. Collecting and photographing actual bed bugs in furniture and around the residence as well as evidence of their bite marks is ideal for proving a case.
Similar to the duty associated with a negligence-based theory, there is another legal doctrine that focuses on a property owner’s responsibility to maintain their property in a certain condition: the implied warranty of habitability. The basic premise behind the principle is that a landlord warrants that the dwelling at issue is fit for its intended purpose – that is, it sets a minimum standard by requiring that the areas in which its tenants will live are suitable for human inhabitants. Depending on conditions, the presence of bed bugs in an apartment may diminish the habitability of the dwelling or render it altogether uninhabitable.
Bed Bugs in Foam Mattresses and Other Locations
There are many places for bed bugs to hide, and if the exterminator is not properly trained, the bugs may not be eliminated after treatment. There can be bed bugs in foam mattresses, other types of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, couches, chairs, nightstands, dressers, electronics, outlets, and in the walls.
Choose Whitney, LLP, and Let Us Fight for You!
If you or a friend or family member in Anne Arundel County, Charles County, Howard County, or other Maryland areas are dealing with bed bugs in an apartment, contact us to discuss your legal rights and recovering compensation. We have successfully represented hundreds of tenants and recovered compensation for them in cases against apartments owners and property managers. Consultations are always free. Call us now at (410) 583-8000, or use our contact form.
If you wish to learn more about how Whitney, LLP can help you with apartment infestations in Maryland, read our bed bug blogs or watch our YouTube channel for more information regarding our many bed bug case results.