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Tip #210: Working Together on a Common Cause

The City Council of Hartford, Connecticut is writing a bedbug law that actually could be good policy for landlords.

Under the proposal, landlords and tenants would share more of the load when it comes to fighting the war against bedbugs.

For instance, landlords would remain responsible for initial treatments — which is the law in most states today — but tenants would have a legal duty to cooperate in prepping their units. Tenants who refuse to cooperate could pay a price for subsequent outbreaks.

Also, if treatment costs are greater because of a tenant’s extra- heavy furniture, landlords could pass along those added expenses, deducting those costs from a security deposit.

All that is missing is a requirement that tenants notify landlords as soon as they suspect a bedbug infestation, so swift treatment and containment are possible.

It’s a policy built on cooperation and mutual purpose, and could work for other landlords, too.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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