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Landlord Responsibility for Bed Bugs in Baltimore City

Watch the Video Below – Baltimore City renters are entitled to an apartment free of bed bugs when they move.  If a bed bug infestation develops after moving into an apartment building, the landlord is responsible if the infestation is present in more than one unit.  In this blog, our Baltimore Bed Bug Lawyers address the question of Who Is Responsible for Bed Bugs in Baltimore ?

Usually, if bed bugs are in one unit, they have spread to or from another adjacent unit. Read about a recent $90,000 Baltimore Bed Bug Settlement by Whitney, LLP’s Baltimore Bed Bug Lawyers.

If you were moved into a bed bug infested apartment in Baltimore City, or your landlord ignores your complaints or their treatments do not work, you should know that you have legal rights and can fight back against your landlord.

Compensation for bed bug bites can be recovered for bites, itching, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress, medical bills and property damage.

Whitney, LLP’s attorneys for bed bugs specialize in bed bug cases and have recovered over $13,000,000 for our clients in bed bug claims cases, verdicts and settlements.  Consultations are always free.

What Is Your Case Worth? We offer Free Consultations and our Clients in bed bug cases pay no out of pocket fees or expenses. Call us at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case.  Here is our YouTube Channel for videos on bed bug infestations.

 

Baltimore City Landlord Responsibility for Bed Bugs

Edited Transcript Below:

Hi, this is Dan Whitney with the Whitney Law Firm in Towson, Maryland. Today we’re going to talk about the issue of landlord responsibility for bedbugs in Baltimore City. So I’ve been a lawyer for about 10 years, I’ve handled many bed bug cases, and we’ve sued many landlords and hotel companies in Baltimore City. We’ve recovered almost $14 million for our clients in a variety of bed bug cases.

Maryland Law Requires New Apartments to be Free of Bed Bug Infestation

So a big question with tenants when a bed bug infestation comes up, they want to know who is responsible for the bed bug infestation.

In Maryland, there’s something called the Maryland Minimum Livability Code, which sets a minimum standard that all cities and or counties have to comply with, or at least have a substantial similarity to that statewide code.

Infestation Law in Baltimore City

So today we’re going to talk about the responsibility for bed bugs that landlords have in the city. So in Baltimore, you refer to the Baltimore City Building, Fire, and Related Code, which adopts the International Property Maintenance Code 2018.

The International Property Maintenance Code is a set of standards that comes out every few years and it sets forth essentially standard guidelines that different cities and towns and states adopt because it’s basically a set of rules that’s been created so you can adopt it, you can adopt it with modifications, and so that’s what Baltimore City has done.

So regarding bed bugs per the Maryland Livability Code, in Baltimore City, landlords are responsible for making sure there’s no bed bug infestations at the time the tenant moves in.

So what does that mean? It means apartments need to be free of bed bug infestation at the time a tenant moves in.

Landlords Must Properly Treat Bed Bug Infestations

Now how does the landlord make sure that the apartment has no bed bugs before they move someone in? Well, if there’s been reports of bedbugs, they need to have the apartment inspected by a trained, licensed pest control professional to be sure that if there was a problem, now the problem is gone.

However, many landlords, if a tenant complaints, they’ll just kick that tenant out and put a new tenant, an unsuspecting tenant, in who doesn’t know they’re about to be bitten by bed bugs.  When a landlord does that, claims can be brought for violations of Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act, negligence, and potentially fraud.

baltimore row homes wrongful evictions 300x169 - Landlord Responsibility for Bed Bugs in Baltimore City

Bed Bug Infestations in Baltimore Row Homes

Now what about when a bed bug infestation is reported after having lived in apartment for an extended period of time?

So in Baltimore City, there’s a differentiation between a single unit building and a multiunit building, so say just a row house versus an apartment building. In a single unit building, the Baltimore Code says an occupant of a single unit building is responsible for extermination of insects other than wood destroying insects. So in other words, the occupant is responsible for extermination.

However, if the infestation has been reported to the landlord, and the landlord takes action, but their treatments do not work, the landlord may still be held responsible.

Bed Bugs in an Apartment Building

Now in Baltimore, it’s different if you’re in a multiunit building or an apartment building. In that case, the code says an occupant of a multiunit building is responsible for extermination if the occupant’s unit is the only one affected.

So what does that mean? That just means if you are in an apartment building and you’re the only person with the problem, you are responsible. However, practically speaking, based on all my experience doing these cases, and having reviewed hundreds, if not thousands of pest control records, when a tenant in an apartment has a bedbug infestation, they’re almost never the only person dealing with it.

Usually at least one of the neighbors also has the infestation, and if the bed bug infestation has spread into the walls between units, of course the tenant cannot get into that wall that is shared with somebody else and arguably that wall is not their apartment. Now it becomes a shared problem affecting whoever’s on the other side of that wall.

Again, if the landlord takes action, but their methods don’t work, the landlord can be held responsible.

Lawyers for Baltimore City Bed Bug Infestations

Landlords are often responsible for bed bug treatments in Baltimore City.  If you are wondering how to deal with a bed bug infestation in your apartment, or your landlord is not treating for bed bugs, call Whitney, LLP’s attorneys for bed bugs for a Free Consultation.

Compensation for bed bug bites can be recovered for bites, itching, scarring and disfigurement, emotional distress, medical bills and property damage.

What Is Your Case Worth? We offer Free Consultations and our Clients in bed bug cases pay no out of pocket fees or expenses. Call us at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form, to discuss your potential case.  Here is our YouTube Channel for videos on bed bug infestations.

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