What are California landlords’ duties concerning bedbug problems?

As a California landlord, you have certain obligations to keep your tenants safe and advise them when certain conditions in the building you rent might become compromised. When these issues arise, the question of landlord and tenant responsibility may come into question.

One common problem that might affect you and your tenants is a bedbug infestation, and according to the California Legislature, Assembly Bill 551 now outlines your responsibilities if an infestation should occur.

Landlord responsibilities

According to the bill, you must ensure that any building you rent out to tenants is suitably safe and clean and that if you had the building treated for bedbugs, you must supply any prospective tenant with a copy of the pest control report. This may assist a tenant when making rental decisions and protect you as the owner of the building.

In accordance with the bill, if you know a unit or building has a bed bug issue, you may not show or rent that space until you have it treated and inspected by a qualified pest control company.

Fostering tenant cooperation

As a landlord, much of the responsibility of bed bug control falls upon you. However, you can foster cooperation with each of your tenants so you can work together to lower the risk of future infestations. Provide your tenants with information about how to prevent bedbugs and how to identify signs of an infestation, including:

  • Small brown fecal marks on sheets
  • Itchy bites on the legs and ankles
  • Visible molted shells in bedding

You can encourage tenants to report these signs to you as soon as possible so you can treat the area.

A bed bug infestation can be difficult to treat, but early detection can help you fulfill your responsibilities as a California landlord before the problem spins out of control.

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