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Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  25 years of experience in general practice, real estate law and estate law.
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the bedbug infested manhattan apartment is not habitable and

Resolved Question:

the bedbug infested manhattan apartment is not habitable and the tenants move out and get rent abatement. the bedbug extermination is supposed to be conducted twice, second time 15 days after the first. is the apartment considered habitable in the interim? thank you.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 8 months ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you.

As a general rule the bedbugs need to abated which means there have been eradicated.
Has the health department been involved with this situation?

 

Were the bedbugs eradicated with the first treatment? It is doubtful that they have been.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

no, and let me rephrase my question. The apartment is not habitable due to the infestation, there is a small child who has been bitten, thus tenants have to move out temporarily with the rent abatement. here is the question: tenants have to find a temp place to live. Is the landlord supposed to be covering the rent in the temp place? prices for short term rental in Manhattan are exorbitant, seems only fair that landlord should cover a temporary place that would be comparable to the one vacated. Also in calculating the amount of time to be spent in the temp place, which is equal to the time of the breech of habitability. it does seem doubtful that bedbugs will be eradicated after the first treatment. All exterminators come back in 15 days for the 2nd treatment. Is the apartment deemed uninhabitable during the time between treatments? Thank you.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 8 months ago.

Under NY law the landlord is required to pay for the eradication.

The landlord is not required to party for temporary housing unless the landlord failed to provide notice that there was an issue with bedbug infestation. The law has been evolving and in the future the landlord may be responsible for both eradication and temporary housing when required.

These are links for the requirements and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants under these situations.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/bedbugs/html/info/owners_tenants.shtml

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/bedbugs/html/info/landlords_managers.shtml

Can you tell me the health department has declared the property uninhabitable?

Due to the fact that bedbugs do not carry disease if the treatment is not noxious the tenant can remain in the unit. (I know that I would not want to remain in the apartment during treatment)

http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_and_answers/bedbugs

If the treatment is dangerous and the landlord caused the infestation or failed to notify the tenant of infestation, the tenant has a good chance of recovering the costs for temporary housing in court.

 

Customer: replied 8 months ago.

i called HPD a week ago and they aren't coming here till next week. Meanwhile, both the child and other household members have had severe reaction with skin itching and burning. The child has even been sent back home with the bites.

Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 8 months ago.

I understand. Bedbugs are awful. If this was caused through no fault of the tenant they may wish to bring an action against the landlord to recover their expenses.

I have seen that the majority of cases result in damages for the tenant.

At this point this not yet required under the law so each case must be handled by the court until new legislation passes requiring the landlord to pay for temporary housing.

I apologize if that was not the answer that you were hoping to receive. I wish I could tell you that the landlord is required to pay up-front.


Please feel free to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3431
Experience: 25 years of experience in general practice, real estate law and estate law.
Attyadvisor and 18 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 8 months ago.
Thank you.

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