A while ago, a client came to see me in a panic because she received a notice of abandonment of a dwelling from one of her tenants along with a lawsuit for damages and reduction of rent.
The reason: Despite warning the landlord several times, the tenant had ultimately developed a severe allergic reaction to BED BUGS and her premises were deemed unfit for living.
It happens to even the best of apartments. Bed bugs can catch a ride in your suitcase or used furniture (beware of second hand mattresses!) or on your clothing. The critters can even travel from another apartment in the same building.
So what can a landlord do to prevent such circumstances? My best advice is to act as quickly and diligently as possible.
When notified about bedbugs, the Landlord must:
• Take action immediately to correct the problem.
• Hire an exterminator in order to completely eradicate all bedbugs in the building.
• Enable the exterminator to visit all the common areas, all the apartments adjacent to the one where bedbugs were found and, if the exterminator thinks it is necessary, any other apartment in order to eliminate the problem throughout the building.
Time and time again, I have seen that the most efficient way to handle this issue is to ensure communication with the tenant and the exterminator at all times. Even if one tenant is the cause of the bed bugs, the last thing you want for your investment property is a proliferation of vacancies because of a situation that could have been easily fixed from the beginning!
For more information, do not hesitate to contact us at 514-882-2920 or send us an email to schedule a consultation.