MY APARTMENT HAS BED BUGS!  WHAT CAN I DO?  CAN I SUE MY LANDLORD?

Is your apartment or rental home old?  Does it have water leaks and mold?  Are there other units in the building with cockroaches?  If so, you’ve got a huge problem that’s only going to get worse over time.  Many landlords blame their tenants when they have cockroaches but that’s completely unfair and is unsupported by modern pest control theory and practice. 

The attorneys at Riley Ersoff have handled hundreds of slum housing cases involving cockroach infestations.  Cockroaches will make your home completely uninhabitable and can cause you and your children severe anxiety, frustration, sleeplessness, and chronic toxic stress.  Over time, cockroaches and slum housing conditions can cause your children asthma, allergies and other respiratory harm.  Don’t let your landlord abuse you!  We’ve collected millions of dollars on behalf of our tenant clients and do everything we can to help our clients and their children.

Cockroaches are generally present in old, deteriorated apartments or rental homes or where other tenants have cockroaches which allows the cockroaches to quickly spread throughout the building.  Cockroaches are nocturnal insects that prefer to hide in dark and damp cracks and crevices.  If you’re seeing cockroaches during the day, that means there are so may cockroaches inside the walls of your unit that there is no room for every cockroach to hide inside the walls and crevices of your home. 

Spraying around the exterior of any apartment building or even spraying inside your home with cheap, ineffective pesticides will never resolve a cockroach infestation.  Unfortunately, many of the spray chemicals used by low end, unprofessional mom and pop pest control companies are completely inadequate.  These spray chemicals will only push the cockroaches deeper into your walls and other hiding places and, as soon as the chemicals dry and dissipate, they’ll come out and invade your home once again.

Although cockroaches do not bite in anger, they will bite in the course of eating flaking skin, eye lashes, eye brows, leg hair, and arm hair.  Although somewhat rare, cockroaches can work their way into the ear canal of young children.  Cockroaches are also notorious “vectors” or carriers of bacteria.  That is why the presence of even one cockroach in a restaurant or hospital can result in the immediate shutdown of these businesses.

Professional pest control companies are few and far between.  The pest control companies that practice Integrated Pest Management take steps to 1) place traps around your apartment or rental home to monitor the severity of the inspection, 2) seal cracks and crevices to prevent cockroaches from entering your home, 3) dust with diatomaceous earth behind electrical outlets, and 4) use gel bait to combat a cockroach infestation.  Gel bait is incredibly effective and makes sanitation almost irrelevant in combating cockroaches. 

Don’t let your landlord blame you for a cockroach infestation in your home.  Every landlord in California is required to maintain the safety and habitability of your home.  That includes taking all necessary steps to eliminate any cockroach infestation in your home. 

Are you living in a leased apartment that is infested with bed bugs? Have you and your loved ones suffered injuries from bed bug bites? Have you had to throw out mattresses, sofas or other furniture because of bed bug infestations?  Is your landlord ignoring you or not doing enough to resolve this serious problem?  Call the lawyers at Riley Ersoff, the experts in bed bug litigation, who have  represented thousands of tenants just like you against slum landlords who put profit before the health and safety of tenants.

Bed bugs have six legs, flat bodies range from about 1/16th inch to ¼ inch in length.  The babies have almost no color while adult bed bugs can vary from red and brown to copper color.  They do not fly but can either crawl or be carried from place to place on objects, people or animals.  They are hard to find and identify because they are tiny and try to stay hidden.  Because bed bugs usually feed at night, most people are bitten in their sleep without knowing.  Sometimes the red welts caused by the bites will go unnoticed for several days until they become itchy and even painful.  A bed bug infestation can be identified by certain telltale signs including:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement on sheets and mattresses, clothes and walls
  • Bed bug fecal spots, egg shells or shed skins where bed bugs hide
  • Offensive, musty odor from the bug’s scent glands

In California landlords are prohibited from showing or renting out a unit that they know is infested with bed bugs.  Landlords are also required to provide new tenants with written notice about bed bugs that includes general information about the appearance, life cycle, and common signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation.  Landlords must provide tenants with the procedure that tenants should follow to report suspected bed bug infestations.  California law also provides that a landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant after the tenant notifies the landlord of a bed bug infestation.  This means that the landlord cannot evict, raise rent, harass, threaten or intimidate the tenant for reporting the infestation.  The affected unit and all surrounding units should be inspected and treated as deemed necessary.  A follow up inspection of all affected units must be performed a few weeks later to confirm that the treatment resolved the infestation.

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Landlords have a duty to maintain the premises in a habitable condition. Habitable means that the property is maintained in a manner consistent with the health and safety of the tenants. Landlords are liable for bed bug infestations, injuries and damages caused to tenants if they negligently maintained the premises. This occurs when the landlord had actual or constructive knowledge of the bed bug infestation and failed to take reasonable steps to resolve the infestation. A landlord can also be liable if he failed to take reasonable steps to prevent a bed bug infestation from occurring in the first place. A landlord is not shielded from liability if the tenant signed a bed bug addendum.

Riley Ersoff has recovered millions of dollars for tenants against landlords who have ignored bed bug infestations or who were negligent in their efforts to resolve bed bug infestations. If you and your loved ones have been treated unfairly and are living with bed bugs because of a landlord’s negligence, call us now. Tell your landlord enough is enough! We will get you the compensation that you deserve for the pain and frustration that you have suffered.