Bed bugs disappeared for close to 6 decades in the United States, but they have returned with a vengeance starting in the 1990’s. The little round brown wingless pests like to hide in dark places like along the seams of your mattress and headboards where they wait until night falls and you go to sleep.
They will then creep out and feed on your blood before going back into their hiding places to wait until they get hungry again. If this is happening to you, you may need a lawyer to help you break your lease on an apartment and/or sue for damages if the landlord refuses to do anything about it.
The Habitability of the Apartment
In many localities, there are laws that state that a landlord has to maintain an apartment so it is habitable for people to live in. This means the apartment must be kept in good repair and is free from pests like rats and bedbugs.
If they know of a preexisting condition, and they didn’t take care of it before you moved in, you can sue to break your lease without losing you security deposit or suffer damage to your credit report.
Who Brought the Bedbugs?
The main issue is when did the bedbugs arrive at your apartment and who is responsible for removing them. Bedbugs hide in clothing and luggage when they migrate from one place to another. This is why it can be common for hotels to get bed bugs. Here is more information: bedbuginjuries.com/bed-bugs-in-hotels
If you have been traveling and stayed at a place that had bedbugs, there is a chance you brought them to your apartment and you will be responsible for removing them. You have to prove the bedbugs were there before you arrived.
Proving who is responsible is the tricky part. Increasingly, landlords are having a pest inspection done on an apartment when the previous tenant moves out and they are using professional pest control experts to perform it.
Part of the inspection often includes a check for bedbugs – especially in areas where bedbugs are becoming a problem. The pest control expert will document the findings of the inspection and give the landlord a copy of the document.
If they didn’t find any evidence of bedbugs during the inspection, they may be enough to put the blame on you for the infestation.
However, if this type of inspection wasn’t done, and there is no proof you brought them in, you can successfully sue to get out of your lease if the landlord doesn’t do anything about it. You will, in most municipalities, have to give the landlord a chance to remove the infestation before you can sue.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
Not all landlords will work with you to remove a bedbug infestation because it can be expensive. Unless you know the tenant laws in your municipality and how to successful sue to get out of your lease, you are going to need an experienced lawyer to help you get the results you want.
If you have a bedbug infestation problem that you feel is not your fault and the landlord isn’t doing anything about it, give us a call.