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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37666
Experience:  I have handled Real Estate and Landlord Tenant matters for more than two decades.
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I work for a Property Management firm. I show rental

Customer Question

I work for a Property Management firm. I show rental properties and process applications as well as prepare lease agreements. I am aware that one of the apartment complex's we manage has a serious infestation of bedbugs in one of the apartments. Kansas Landlord Law does not require disclosure. I feel it is unethical to not disclose to prospective tenants. Could I be sued if a tenant moves in and get bedbugs and finds out I was aware of them but did not diclose?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  LawTalk replied 9 months ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Under Kansas law, there is not code section requiring that you advise a potential tenant of a known bedbug infestation. However, that does not protect you and your employer from being sued if you knowingly fail to disclose such a pervasive and expensive infestation to deal with.

You could be sued at a minimum for negligence and the tenant could then seek to terminate any lease agreement they had, as well as seek damages against you and your employer for any furnishings that had to be replaced because they were not capable of being treated, and for the full cost of eradication by an expert service of their belongings. This could easily run in to the thousands of dollars in damages.

The fact that there may not be a law compelling disclosure will not insulate you from a lawsuit. And you are correct---you have an ethical obligation to tell prospective tenants. Keeping something like this hidden from the public could become a public relations nightmare for your company---imagine what the BBB would do with information like that?

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

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I wish you and yours the best in 2016,