As a property owner, you have legal responsibilities you need to meet. Property owners that plan on renting out their property need to adhere to strict laws. Failure to meet certain regulations can lead to lawsuits and serious penalties. One major concern is bed bugs. Recently a new law was passed in relation to bed bugs in California. Here are some important takeaways from this new law property owners in California need to know.
Bed Bug Litigation
There was an upsurge of bed bug litigation in the past few years, which caused the new law to go into effect. As of January 2017, the new laws are established as follows:
- Landlords are prohibited from retaliating against a tenant who provides notice of bed bug infestation.
- Landlords are prohibited from showing, renting, and leasing units with known bed bugs.
- Landlords must give notice of bed bugs to new tenants to new tenants on and after July 1, 2017. All previous tenants must be notified by January 1, 2018.
- Landlords must provide tenants with information on what to do if they suspect a bed bug infestation.
Maintaining a Rental Unit
According to California law, landlords must have an “implied warranty of habitability.” This document requires landlords to maintain a unit fit for humans. Bed bugs are one of the worst pests to deal with as they can quickly cause problems for all tenants if you have a large building. Bed bugs have a separate law because they are harder to treat other pests. Early detection and pest management are the most important steps to take against bed bug infestations.
The Problem with Bed Bugs
The problem with bed bugs compared to other pests is how invasive they become. They feed on blood, mostly human blood, and at night. What this means is tenants are the perfect food for these pests and they will continue to lay more eggs and hatch more until they are properly destroyed. Baby bed bugs are quite small and lighter in color from the adults, making them hard to identify and kill. Bed bugs will not say on people, they simply feed and hide. Quite often bed bugs come into apartments from traveling or when someone brings new furniture to the rental unit. It’s easy for bed bugs to hide and travel in clothing and other things and they will move quickly from unit to unit. The majority of places infested with bed bugs will need to be treated several times before the bed bugs are completely destroyed.
Landlord Requirements About Bed Bugs
So what is required of a landlord if there is a unit with bed bugs? All tenants must be notified immediately of the bed bug infestation and a pest control company will need to perform extermination as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the infestation, some furniture may need to be destroyed if the bed bugs have ruined it.
Within two days of receiving a bed bug complain, property owners need to start working on eliminating the bed bug problem with a pest control company. Landlords must make information about the signs and symptoms of bed bugs to all tenants so they can be on the watch for it in their unit prior to treatment.
Treating bed bugs can be costly, up to $1,000 per unit, and can require multiple visits. Working with a property manager is one of the best ways to avoid a headache and hassle that comes with issues like bed bugs as they will handle all the notification to tenants and coordinate all pest control cleanup efforts. If you would like to learn more about the new bed bug regulations contact Keyrenter Sacramento today.