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Who responsible for getting rid of bed bugs, the cost of dry cleaning and cleaning all belongings in the bedroom?

Los Angeles, CA |

I moved recently into an older building in Los Angeles, I have no pets or have had any such problems in the past with bugs, now i am getting bit while i sleep that is leaving huge marks all over my body, this has been an on going dilemma for the past couple months and my manager keeps ignoring me, i finally made appointment with exterminator for the problem to be resolved. I would like to know if I am responsible for all the cost this entails: dry cleaning of all bedding and clothing, moving items out of the infested room, replacement of the bed and box spring. Someone please help cause extremely frustrating; I'm a female student and don't have the funds that this is going to take to rid the problem I moved into.

Attorney Answers 2

  1. You can call the Los Angeles County Environmental Health Department to come and inspect your apartment. If the inspector finds a serious bug problem, he or she will order your landlord to hire an exterminator and fix the problem. The Los Angeles County Health Department's web site---- -- call and ask for a code enforcement inspection. If you spot one of the bed bugs...they are tiny...try and take a close up picture. Also take pictures of your bites.

    Your landlord is also responsible for all of the cleanup costs.

    Disclaimer. Ms. Marsh is an attorney licensed to practice in California. The information posted above is for general information, does not constitute professional legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship. Ms. Marsh strongly advises the questioner to consult with an attorney to thoroughly review his or her particular circumstances and for advice tailored to his or her specific circumstances.

  2. Dear tenant,

    Ms. Marsh is correct. However, you should also call the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) at 866-557-RENT, since you are in Los Angeles, and ask for a code enforcement inspection. The LAHD has the authority to order your landlord to make repairs to the premises, including exterminating bed bugs. Unfortunately, if you get rid of the bed bugs only in your apartment, they may come back if the rest of the building is not treated. That's why you need to call the authorities.

    In the meantime though, if your landlord will not reimburse you for your costs associated with extermination and cleaning, you should sue him in small claims court to recover those costs. He is clearly responsible for them, because it is his legal duty to exterminate bed bugs. See Civil Code section 1941.1. You can also claim damages for pain and distress associated with the bites in the small claims court proceedings.

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