If our apartment got bedbugs, can I sue my landlady? 11 Answers as of June 26, 2015

I was wondering if we should sue because our landlord has refused to do anything about the bedbugs that have taken over my apartment. We need to get them taken care of, so we can live comfortably in our own home, but he wants to get us to pay for the cost to clean them up. He owns the neighbors apartment, which is where the bedbugs had originally come from. Our landlord is very stubborn, and we need help figuring out what is next. It has been over a month since this all started.

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Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
I think I responded to this question earlier this week. Your landlord has to owe you a duty before you can sue him for the breach of it, and it does not seem quite certain that he has the duty to keep the neighbor's bedbugs from migrating to your nicer apartment. Why not call an exterminator (and have him or her return every two weeks or so for a few months) and propose to the landlord that he cut your rent in an amount equal to the cost of the exterminator? You could also check with your municipal housing department to see if they can make an inspection and demand that he remove the bugs or be cited and have to pay a forfeiture to the municipality? You can ask if you are entitled to abate the rent until the place is cleaned up.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/26/2015
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
I don't think a lawsuit is necessary, but it is his responsibility, same as a dripping faucet or a cracked window. If he refuses, you have the right to have the exterminator come and take care of it, and then deduct it from your rent payments, but see a lawyer first so that you don't get in trouble in that regard.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/26/2015
Ferguson & Ferguson
Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
You are not responsible for bed bugs from another apartment.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/25/2015
Law Office of Lisa Hurtado McDonnell | Lisa Hurtado McDonnell
Bed bugs issue I'd hard to prove landlords negligence. It generally the tenant fault. You could have got the bed bugs from a number of sources. Have you bought any used furniture or received any used Mattresses, sofas, chairs, clothes and blankets and soft toys etc..
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 6/25/2015
Adler Law Group, LLC
Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
Yes you can sue its a landlord is on notice of the problem. Especially if you have scarring or other injury.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/25/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Your rights and duties should be spelled out in your lease, but generally, the landlord owes you a duty to provide you a livable space. If you can show that the landlord's negligence caused your apartment to get bedbugs, I would think you could quite possibly have a case. You may have to take the landlord to court, though.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    Depending on the State you reside in, you have a few options. You could sue the landlady, but that would be expensive. You could hire a fumigator/pes service and send her the bill or pay it and deduct it from the rent. She might try to evict you, though. Or, you could leave based on her failure to provide a clean place to live. Again, she might sue you or hurt your credit. Probably the best thing would be to sue her in small claims court and let the court decide.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    You need to send a demand letter to the landlord and let them Know that it the matter is not taken care of then you will do it and Deduct the Cost from the rent.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Law Offices of Robert Burns
    Law Offices of Robert Burns | Robert Burns
    Tenants can sue and/or withhold rent due to a bedbug infestation. It's more problematic if your household introduced the bugs. You have an obligation to mitigate your damages as by moving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates
    Barry Rabovsky & Associates | Barry Rabovsky
    Has anyone had any medical treatment as a result of the bedbugs? If someone in your household had to seek medical treatment as a result of the bedbugs, you would have a stronger case against the landlord. Thank you for your email.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/25/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    First, you must put in writing to him what is the problem. He then has 10 days to address the problem. If he refuses to act, you may retain the service yourself and deduct the cost from your rent. The maximum you can deduct in a 12 month period is one month's rent.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/25/2015
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