Sorting out the Responsibility: A Guide to Bed Bug Removal for Landlords and Tenants

by | Apr 20, 2023 | General

At some point or another any landlord is likely to deal with bedbugs. As a landlord it is important to educate yourself and train your staff on how to identify bedbugs and what to do once they are found. Inform your tenants as early as possible on what to do if they do discover bedbugs in their unit. Quick reporting is key to lessening infestations and can help keep costs down as a landlord.

Who Pays, Landlord or Tenant?

Responsibility for bed bugs varies depending on the laws in your area and the specific circumstances of the infestation. In general, landlords are responsible for ensuring that rental properties are free from pests, but tenants also have a responsibility to report any infestations and to cooperate with extermination efforts. If a tenant brings bed bugs into the rental property through their own actions, such as bringing infested furniture or clothing into the home, they may be held responsible. It is important to carefully review your lease agreement and local laws to determine who is responsible for dealing with bed bugs in your specific situation.

Responsibility as Landlord

In general, landlords have a duty to maintain rental properties in a habitable condition and to address any health and safety hazards, including bed bugs. This may involve performing regular inspections, addressing any reported infestations promptly, and taking steps to prevent the spread of bed bugs to other units in the building.

In some cases, the landlord may be responsible for the cost of extermination, while in other cases, the tenant may be responsible for a portion of the costs. The specific responsibilities of the landlord and tenant may also be outlined in the lease agreement.

Responsibility as Tenant

Tenants are responsible for keeping their rental unit clean and free of infestations, and for reporting any suspected bed bug infestations to the landlord promptly.

Tenants may also be responsible for taking steps to prevent the spread of bed bugs to other units in the building, such as washing and drying their clothing and bedding on high heat and not bringing infested furniture into the home. In some cases, tenants may be responsible for a portion of the cost of extermination.

If a tenant fails to report a bed bug infestation or takes actions that contribute to the spread of bed bugs, they may be in violation of their lease agreement and may face legal consequences and penalties. It is important for tenants to take a proactive approach to preventing and addressing bed bug infestations to ensure the safety and livability of their rental unit.

Though bed bugs can happen to anyone, it is important to screen your residents to ensure your property can avoid additional risk. Implementing a tenant screening proves allows property managers to run credit reports, view background checks and create a better understanding of a potential tenants history. Learn more about resident screening at

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