The Bug that Never Sleeps: Bed Bugs

New York City is often known as “the city that never sleeps,” that used to be attributed to the hustle and bustle of city life, many attractions and activities to do early into the morning hours.

Now the city still never sleeps, but for a different reason: bed bugs. The rise of bed bugs in New York has been supremely detrimental to many New Yorker’s precious sleep time. For those who have things to accomplish during the day (which is most of us), the emotional and physical toll that bed bugs can take on a person can severely alter even the strongest willed people.

As if this epidemic isn’t bad enough, with the bed bugs breeding and multiplying in all types of establishments including: movie theaters, hotels (even 5 star ones), fitness clubs, office buildings, residential buildings, dormitories etc… I think you get the point, they’re everywhere.

The bad news is, it could be getting worse for renters. For residents of Arizona, it already has. According to KSAZ Fox 10 Phoenix, a new law has gone into effect less than two weeks ago that basically puts more of the onus on renters and takes away some responsibility of property owners and management companies, with regards to their liability concerning bed bugs.

According to KSAZ, the new law:

  • Doesn’t allow landlords to knowingly lease bed bug infested units.

  • Landlords are now required to educate their residents, providing educational material.

  • Prohibits tenants from knowingly moving infested items into a new apartment.

  • Requires tenants to notify their landlord or management company, if they have an infestation.

The problem with this new law is extremely clear in my opinion. The word knowingly is very ambiguous and can be extremely difficult to prove in a court of law. In addition, the law doesn’t address what happens if an apartment is infested with bed bugs.It comes down to the bed bug blame game; tenants want to blame management, landlords and other residents, and landlords and management want to blame the tenants. When it comes to rental properties, the blame game needs to stop because it is not doing either party any good.If New York City’s landlords and management companies attempt to pursue any type of legislation that is remotely close to the law just passed in Arizona, turmoil will be the result.Bed bugs are so relevant in New York City, that all parties need to be educated and held accountable, but the renters cannot be monetarily responsible for cleaning their units because it is so difficult to figure out where the infestation originated.The only way to truly get rid of bed bugs is to make sure everyone gets properly educated and have landlords and their tenants cooperate in keeping an environment that is not conducive to bed bugs.

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