Tenant admits she brought in bed bugs

By admin

My tenant admits that she brought in the bed bugs into her apartment.  She told me her sister’s house has been infested with them for a long time.  She has admitted it repeatedly to me that she has known this and still let her kids come over to her apartment.  This happened on Friday.  We got right on it.  On Monday we are starting treatment for the whole building.  


May question is, Can I hold the tenant financially responsible for the cost of extermination where she has admitted to the situation?.  The estimate is $800 

Edited on: Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 9:57 am

5 Responses to “Tenant admits she brought in bed bugs”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


September 16th, 2010 5:06 pm

Three adults in an apt. had a guest stay over and left bed bugs. They admitted to this problem. I had the pest control treat the apt. 09/18/2010.

The cost was $625.00. The tenants will not pay for the bill. I believe the law says that I must pay for the treatment. The tenants now want to move.
Can I use the security fee to pay for pest control treatment?


Landlord GURU

September 30th, 2010 1:37 pm

Since your tenant has admitted to being responsible for the bed bugs, then yes, you should be able to charge her for treatment. However, it would be best if you could get her to sign a statement acknowledging responsibility. That might be more difficult than it sounds. If that doesn’t work, you could put a tape recorder in your pocket and get it on tape.

The other thing I would suggest would be to send her a notice in the mail (certified) stating that the treatment is her responsibility and that you will be hiring an exterminator if one is not hired by her directly.

Doing the above should protect you and allow you to charge your tenant for the cost of bed bug treatment. Normally, we are stuck with the cost. But since your tenant admitted to bringing them in– you should have every legal right to charge her.

As to my knowledge, there is no real way to prove who brought in the bed bugs, so you have to get creative.

Landlord GURU

September 30th, 2010 1:52 pm

If the tenant doesn’t pay you for the bed bug treatment you could charge is to her security deposit.

Landlord GURU

September 30th, 2010 1:59 pm

So you’ve decided to become a new landlord, congrats! I’m interested to know how you got dupped. (as per your post name)

I’ve been a member of the RPA since 2006. They’ve provided me with a lot of help over the years. I primarily continue my membership due to the resources that are available to me. They offer me enough value to make it very well worth the cost. If you are worried about joining the RPA, then don’t. There are still a lot of benefits from visiting the site, such as free legal forms and the landlord tenant advice blogs.

This landlord blog is still new and doesn’t get near the same traffic as the renter advice blog. You can look at that blog to see that quite a bit more activity over there. I like the idea of having two separate blogs, one for landlords and one for tenants. I frequently respond to post on the renter blog too.

frustrated landlord

November 15th, 2010 6:24 pm

Funny I should come across this post today. I have a tenant who decided in late October that would be a good time to let me know she’s had “mysterious bites” on her skin since Spring of this year. After finding a dead bug she did her own internet search and discovered her bites were being caused by bed bugs. This sudden notification to me also came after she realized they were not only in a mattress but also in the sofa in the living room. I have a monthly pest control contract and still can’t figure out why she didn’t at least make them aware of her “bites” earlier on. NOW, after 2 inspections verifying her suspicions of bed bugs to be correct, she is claiming she is not responsible because we cannot prove SHE brought them in. She is claiming they could have come in any number of ways unrelated to her personally…yeah, right.

Well, after digging and digging here is what I found and what I plan to take her to court with should she decide to run without paying (yes, she’s suddenly decided December 15th is a good time to move):
SEE – VRLTA (Virginia Landlord Tenant Act) 55-248.16 item 3.
Then see – The International Property Maintenance Code” (which is what the state of VA and the city of Norfolk adhere to) SECTION 308.1 AND 308.4.
Want more? Check out vdacs.virginia.gov/pesticides/pdffiles/bb-VAMA.pdf
Good Luck! Hopefully the law will crack down soon on being more clear on how to hold tenant responsible for the obvious.


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