Open/Close Menu
Your Rental Housing Solution
Home · Property Management · Latest News : Are You Screening Your New Tenants for Bedbugs?

Landlord Liability Expanding As Bedbugs Continue to Thrive in Apartments

ScratchingThe liability for bedbugs has burgeoned even in the time since we first published Bedbugs are Back and Spawning Lawsuits.

The Helmsely Hotel in New York City was one of the first businesses to feel the sting of bedbug lawsuits.

But now, as these insidious biting creatures find their way from apartment house to apartment house riding in suitcases, furniture and clothing, new avenues of liability for landlords are emerging, including:

  • New tenants who bring bedbugs to the building
  • Old tenants who bring the problem to the new landlord
  • Employees and vendors who bring the nuisance to other apartments, and their own homes

Have You Screened Your New Tenants For Bedbugs?

Sure, we all think to screen a tenant for criminal records, but have you asked if they’ve been exposed to a bedbug infestation?

Once introduced into a unit (via a mattress or other belongings), bedbugs spread as invisibly and effectively as germs throughout the other units and common areas. The cost of subsequent decontamination of your building is significant, not to mention the hassle of subsequent sweeps when remaining eggs hatch.

Likewise, lawyers are testing the theory that giving a reference for a tenant whose unit is infested may make you liable to the new landlord for their resulting infestation.

Those visiting or working on infested units are discovering just how portable bedbugs are. In fact, reports that Vancouver Coastal Health Authority now provides zip-up baggies for workers to place briefcases and equipment in when they visit potentially infested sites.

According to, one apartment building is considering a radical alternative – a bedbug sauna. This decontamination chamber is large enough to accommodate mattresses and sofas and is being built in response to the rising number of bedbug cases and the resulting liability. While bedbugs seem impervious to cold, heat does seem to do them in, along with their surprisingly resilient eggs.

The hope is that the sauna will reduce the transferability of the bugs from tenant to tenant, and reduce the need for pesticides, although the units themselves will still have to be treated.

There are no such heating units currently available on the market today, but all eyes are watching to see if this creative landlord has the solution to a growing epidemic.

American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services related to your commercial housing investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at subscribe to our blog, click here.


  • Debbie

    Does not apply here at this time. We be advised that it may come soon.

  • Pingback: AAOA on Landlords, Liability, and Bed Bugs « Chicago vs. Bed Bugs()

  • PJ Worley Note: NOT Cedar S IDE

    They have a product for bed bug erradication which we have not needed but we have used their products to strengthen/fortify deck redwood as well as another product to kill termites. The initial web site is not too professional but click on bedbugs to get more detail. Good luck, PJ

  • BedBugDogs are the most effective detection & surveillance device avaiable. Certified Bed Bug Dog Teams can screen a room for bed bugs in three minutes with 90% plus accuracy.

    We have certified K9 teams working in major cities across the US & Canada.

    An effective bed bug prevention program includes education for staff & regular K9 team screenings in cooperation with qualified pest management professionals.

    Early detection is the key to defending your good reputation & containing the cost of eradicating this nightmare parasite.

    Florida Canine Academy is the largest provider of K9s trained for pest control in the US.

    Contact us for a referral to a Certified BedBugDog Tteam in your area at (800) 665-3364

  • Pat

    Bug-sniffing dogs?
    Who’s to say the dogs aren’t bringing some in?

Copyright © 2004 - 2016 All Rights Reserved.