Who Pays For Bed Bugs in an Apartment?
Whitney, LLP helps individuals determine answers to the question: With Bed Bugs in an Apartment Who Pays? We represent victims of bed bugs in cases involving infested apartments, hotels, AirBnBs, vacation rentals, hospitals and mattress and furniture companies. We primarily represent clients in Maryland.
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Transcript for Video:
With Bed Bugs in an Apartment Who Pays?
Hi, this is Dan Whitney with the Whitney Law Firm here in Towson, Maryland. If you’re tuning in it’s probably because you’ve been looking for information on who pays for bed bugs in an apartment. I’ve been a lawyer for about 10 years. I’ve handled hundreds of bedbug cases and sued many, many apartment complexes over bedbug infestations.
The question of who has to pay for the infestation comes up a lot, especially when you’re a tenant. Oftentimes you’ve just moved into an apartment and you’ve discovered an infestation. Or if you’ve lived there for a while and somehow an infestation has come to your apartment, usually it’s because it’s spread from an adjacent unit and the landlord did not properly treat it. The question is the same. You put the landlord on notice, or they tell you there’re bedbugs in your apartment, and it comes down to who’s going to pay for this. Usually it’s at least several hundred dollars. If it’s not a heat treatment, in which case it might be a thousand.
So the question is, who pays? So how do you figure it out? Sometimes the lease will address who is responsible for paying. Other times the lease may not specify that. At least in Maryland, what you do is you turn to the local city or the county code and it’s usually under a provision of the county or city code called responsibilities for compliance, in the property and housing section.
In Maryland, in most jurisdictions, the code will say that the landlord is responsible for extermination. Now, interestingly enough, in Baltimore City, there’s a distinction where the city code says that it draws a distinction between is it an apartment complex, is the dwelling a single family home being rented out, how many people are dealing with the infestation in the city? If only one person is dealing with the infestation, it may be that they’re responsible, but if multiple units in the dwelling are dealing with the infestation then it’s the landlord’s responsibility.
So really it comes down to what does the law say, which is in a city or county code most of the time. Sometimes also there’s a statewide law that says this is the standard and it may supersede in some situations the local code.
The short answer is there is no short answer. It all depends on where you live what the city or the code requires. Now, sometimes the apartment complexes will just pay themselves because they know they just need to get this thing done fast and resolve the infestation. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. If it doesn’t happen, usually what a tenant can do, they may try to self treat, but that’s not always a good idea because self treatment is often ineffective.
If you’re dealing in a situation where you’ve got a horrible infestation and you think the landlord should be paying, but they’re not, it may be in your best interest to pay yourself and then perhaps seek recourse from them after the infestation hasn’t been treated. It’s a very fact specific question and an experienced attorney who deals with these matters and is familiar with leases and the city or the county law would be able to help you answer that question.
So I hope this has been helpful. It’s not a solid answer one way or the other, but it’ll give you a starting point to look at, to look at your city or County code responsibilities for compliance. So I hope this has been helpful. There’s more videos to look at for more information about bedbug litigation in bedbug issues. If you have any questions we offer legal consultations. So give us a call or just visit the website, www.whitneyfirm.com. Thanks for tuning in and take care.
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