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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  20 years professional experience
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Hi, This question is for someone who has experience dealing

Resolved Question:


This question is for someone who has experience dealing with bed bugs in NYC.

I rent an apartment in NYC. I have a small but growing problem with bed bugs. My landlord wants to get an estimate on extermination and then have me pay for part of the costs because he thinks I am responsible for the bed bugs. Of course, since I live in the apartment I probably am responsible, but I don't know how anyone could prove that I am responsible. There are three units in the building. So far I am the only confirmed case of bed bugs. I am moving out in less than three weeks with the end of my lease. I am afraid that if I refuse to pay for the extermination or part of it that the landlord will attempt to keep my security deposit. Will this be recoverable in court if he does keep it?

Thanks so much!!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name isXXXXX very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from this information.


Unfortunately,bed bugs are not considered a wear and tear item. Thus, as with any other damage caused by a resident, the LL may be able to charge the resident for the cost to treat the unit if it is determined that the resident is responsible for the infestation.


So, yes, there is a significant chance that he could keep all or part of your deposit.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So what about this? Please see below.

Sec. 27-2017 Definitions

When used in this article:

  1. Eradication means the elimination of rodents or insects and other pests from any premises through the use of traps, poisons, fumigation or any other method of extermination.

  2. Insects and other pests include the members of class insecta, including houseflies, lice, bees, cockroaches, moths, silverfish, beetles, bedbugs, ants, termites, hornets, mosquitoes and wasps, and such members of the phylum arthropoda as spiders, mites, ticks, centipedes and wood lice.

  3. Harborage means any condition which provides shelter or protection for rodents or insects and other pests.

[back to top]

Sec. 27-2018 Rodent and insect eradication; mandatory extermination
  1. The owner or occupant in control of a dwelling shall keep the premises free from rodents, and from infestations of insects and other pests, and from any condition conducive to rodent or insect and other pest life.

  2. When any premises are subject to infestation by rodents or insects and other pests, the owner or occupant in control shall apply continuous eradication measures.

  3. When the department makes the determination that any premises are infested by rodents, insects or other pests, it may order such eradication measures as the department deems necessary.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Are you responding?
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 years ago.

You had opted me out, so I could not respond.


While I agree that the above statutes apply in general, the issue in your case is that the LL is claiming that you might be the cause of the infestation. This is why my answer says:



if it is determined that the resident is responsible for the infestation.


This would be an issue of fact for the jury or judge to decide based on expert witness testimony.


So basically compare your situation with that of a new tenant that is just moving in and find this bed bug problem.



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