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 LLP have handled hundreds of slum housing cases involving cockroach and bed bug 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.
WHERE DO COCKROACHES LIVE?
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.
THE PROBLEM WITH A COCKROACH INFESTATION?
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.
CONTROLLING A COCKROACH INFESTATION
Professional pest control companies are few and far between. The pest control companies that practice Integrated Pest Management take steps to:
- place traps around your apartment or rental home to monitor the severity of the inspection
- seal cracks and crevices to prevent cockroaches from entering your home
- dust with diatomaceous earth behind electrical outlets
- use gel bait to combat a cockroach infestation
CAN I SUE MY LANDLORD FOR A COCKROACH INFESTATION?
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.
You Do Not Need To Live In Discomfort
Cockroaches and bed bugs can wreak havoc on a home, no matter where you live or what kind of house you have. It is the duty of the landlord to provide a safe and cleanly place of residence for all tenants, and if those basic duties are not met, that is where we come in.Get Help Now
Litigation Strategies for Cockroach Infestations
When faced with the distressing problem of a cockroach infestation, it is important to explore all available avenues for seeking justice and resolution. In legal cases involving cockroach infestations, there are various litigation strategies that can be employed to hold responsible parties accountable and seek appropriate compensation. By strategically navigating the legal process, individuals affected by cockroach infestations can aim to restore their sense of well-being and ensure that their rights are protected.
One effective litigation strategy in cockroach infestation cases is to gather compelling evidence that substantiates the severity and extent of the infestation. This may involve documenting the presence of cockroaches through photographs, videos, and professional pest control reports. Additionally, enlisting the expertise of entomologists or pest control experts as expert witnesses can provide valuable insights and support the case. Another powerful strategy is to highlight any violations of health and safety regulations or breaches of landlord/tenant laws that may have contributed to the infestation. By demonstrating negligence or breach of duty on the part of the responsible parties, it becomes possible to establish liability and seek appropriate damages. Moreover, exploring the potential for class action lawsuits can bring together multiple affected tenants, amplifying the strength of the case and facilitating a collective pursuit of justice. Finally, pursuing settlement negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, can offer opportunities for timely resolution, compensation for damages, and implementation of measures to address the infestation issue.
LEASING A HOME OR APARTMENT WITH BED BUGS?
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 LLP, 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
Bed bugs also hide in a variety of places. Closer to the bed, you can often find them hiding near the piping, mattress seams and tags, box springs, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard. In cases of heavy bed bug infestation, bed bugs may also hide in the following places:
- Drawer joints
- Chair and couch seams
- Between cushions
- Curtain folds
- Electrical receptacles and appliances
- Junctions where the wall and the ceiling meet
- Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings
Since bed bugs are only about the width of a credit card, their size allows them to pack into many types of small hiding spots. Essentially, if you can slip a credit card into the space, it could be hiding a bed bug.
WHO IS AT MOST RISK FOR GETTING BED BUGS?
Anyone can get bed bugs. Moreover, as noted, bedbug infestations have nothing to do with housekeeping and hygiene. People get bed bugs when they bring them home. For example, people who travel often or share living and sleeping quarters where others have slept, like a motel, have a higher risk of spreading a bed bug infestation. Common places to pick up bed bugs include:
- Hospitals and nursing homes
- Hotels, motels, and cruise ships
- Buses and trains
- Apartment buildings and condominiums
Bed bugs have also been known to travel in secondhand mattresses or used furniture brought into the home. Unfortunately, a bed bug lives from 6 to 24 months and can survive for 12 months or longer without feeding, which means everyone can bring bed bugs home after encountering an infected area. In fact, most people are unaware that they are transporting bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting each as they go.
A LANDLORDS DUTY WHEN IT COMES TO A BED BUG INFESTATION
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.
What Damages Can You Sue for in a Bed Bug Infestation Claim?
In a bed bug infestation legal claim, there are several types of damages that you can pursue. These damages aim to compensate you for the losses and harm you have experienced due to the infestation. Here are some common types of damages:
- Property Damage: Bed bugs can cause damage to personal belongings, including furniture, mattresses, clothing, and other items that may need to be discarded or professionally treated to eliminate the infestation. You can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing these damaged items.
- Medical Expenses: If you have suffered physical injuries or health issues as a result of the bed bug infestation, such as bites, allergic reactions, or infections, you can pursue compensation for your medical expenses. This includes doctor visits, medications, treatments, and any other healthcare costs related to the infestation.
- Emotional Distress: Bed bug infestations can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional well-being, causing stress, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other emotional distress.
- Pain and Suffering: If you have experienced physical pain and discomfort due to bed bug bites or related health issues, you can seek compensation for the pain and suffering you have endured.
- Relocation Expenses: If you were forced to temporarily or permanently relocate from your residence due to the infestation, you can pursue damages for the costs associated with moving, finding new accommodations, and any additional expenses incurred as a result of the displacement.
Contact a Cockroach and Bed Bug Attorney
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 LLP 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 at 888-495-9272 or contact us online. Tell your landlord enough is enough! We will get you the compensation that you deserve for the pain and frustration that you have suffered.