Landlords, Tenants, Homeowners and Realtors
Bed Bugs can easily adapt in apartment buildings where there are dark and numerous hiding spaces. Therefore, it has become a widespread problem for both the Landlords and Tenants of these buildings.
One issue that arises is who’s responsible for preventing and/or controlling bed bug infestations in these living spaces. It may be almost impossible to determine where the problem started, so who’s to blame for the spread?
In most cases, the burden falls on the landlord in multi-unit dwellings, but that doesn’t mean the tenants have no responsibility in the matter. Tenants must remain active in prepping and cleaning their living areas. The roles of each individual should be defined in the lease agreement, so as to ensure the boundaries of the living situation, and to prevent an infestation. You may want to include a clause that no used furniture is allowed in the building, as it’s possible these items may already be infected.
The same can be said for the situation between homeowners and realtors. Homeowners should keep up with the cleaning and maintenance of their homes. However, before the sale of the homes, realtors also need to ensure that the maintenance is kept up with, so that the homeowners will not be met with an existing infestation when they arrive.
New York City and The Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force have developed excellent resources regarding the issues facing landlords, tenants, homeowners and realtors, as far as bed bug control and prevention. Below is a link to their websites, with some helpful PDFs:
Bed Bugs: Information, Resources & Management for New York City Residents