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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 11784
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Is the landlord responsible for damage caused by the bed

Customer Question

Is the landlord responsible for damage caused by the bed bugs? We know the landlord is responsible for the exterminator. Our hole house was cleared professionally 10 month ago and the bed bugs showed in two apartments where they were not before. Is the landlord responsible for the new bed bugs after tenant has been living there for a few years without any bed bugs?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  philip.simmons replied 3 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. The landlord has a duty to provide a habitable place to live. But the tenants also have duties.

Can you give some context? You are the landlord?
YOu want to know if the tenant is being unreasonable?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I am the landlord. We had bed bugs problem 10 month ago, we hired a professional exterminator and he cleared the effected apartment as well as the whole house. We called the same exterminator back because there were bed bugs in two different apartments again. He assured us that the new bugs couldn't be from the past incident and we hired him again to exterminate the house. He explained to me and to the tenant that the bed bugs had to came from outside. In another words, no one is responsible for bringing them in again, they could be brought from anyplace. However one of the tenants decided to move and is blaming us for loosing some of her valuables, which she tossed out because she thought that the bed bugs damaged it (jewelry and expensive mattress). She wants to be compensated for it even when the exterminator assured her that he can save the mattress and the bugs do not eat jewelry. My question is: "Are we responsible for the bed bugs getting into her apartment, since we have a proof that the house was professionally cleaned 10 month ago and she has been living there without any problem (until now) for more then three years. 10 month ago no bed bug was found in her apartment. We are glad that she is moving out because she was extremely dirty and the apartment was plugged up with a lot of her stuff (mostly clothing). Can she blame us for the bugs? Since we are taking responsibility to clear the house from the bugs again.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. The other attorney opted out of your question, and so I will attempt to help. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Q: Are we responsible for the bed bugs getting into her apartment, since we have a proof that the house was professionally cleaned 10 month ago and she has been living there without any problem (until now) for more then three years.

A: Under those circumstances, it is unlikely that a court would rule that you are liable. The main issue is that the tenant would need to prove that you did something to allow the bed bugs into the house. Without such proof, the tenant cannot successfully claim that you were negligent. Accordingly, if the tenant cannot prove that, then you would not be liable.

Q: 10 month ago no bed bug was found in her apartment. We are glad that she is moving out because she was extremely dirty and the apartment was plugged up with a lot of her stuff (mostly clothing). Can she blame us for the bugs? Since we are taking responsibility to clear the house from the bugs again.

A: The tenant can blame you for anything. The question is whether the tenant could win a lawsuit against you. Based upon the facts that you shared here, it does not seem likely. In my opinion, you have a much stronger case. Moreover, the fact that she was dirty would seem to suggest that she did not properly maintain the house, and was likely the cause of the bed bugs.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 3 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!

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