Multi-Family Housing, Bed Bugs and the Lease
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate in any structure. When bed bugs infest multifamily homes such as apartments, condos, duplexes, hotels, motels and dorms it is the worst situation. Bed bugs can spread from unit to unit through the shared walls, floors, and ceilings. Treating the infested unit improperly could cause the bugs to spread to adjacent units. In most cases, the infested unit must have a bed bug treatment along with adjacent units.
Bed bugs do not discriminate. They don’t care if you’re rich or poor, clean or dirty, educated or not. They will infest any structure that has a human presence. The nicest five star hotel, or the zero star motel. They occur just as frequently in both situations.
It is quite common to find severe bed bug infestations in multifamily homes due to the high overturn of occupants. Different families will often cycle through multifamily homes, leasing for a period and then moving. Another family will move in after that and so on. And with hotels, the overturn is even greater. These situations create more opportunity for bed bugs to be introduced, it also gives them an opportunity to spread to adjacent units.
Does your lease mention bed bugs?
It is very difficult to determine exactly where the bed bugs came from. It is also then difficult to determine who is at fault for the bed bug infestation, the owner or the tenant. Was the unit infested before the current tenant signed the lease? Did the tenant bring the bed bugs with them when they moved in? Are the bed bugs coming from another unit through the wall voids? The situation will vary case by case. The landlord is always responsible to provide a “safe and habitable environment”. The tenant is responsible, (in AZ), to not knowingly bring bed bugs into the structure. Often times there are pest control terms in the lease that determine who will be responsible for any pest infestations, including bug bugs. Professional help is always needed to get rid of bed bugs.
If you’re a renter in Arizona check this link out. Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act 2012