I received three fees for the extermination of bed bugs from my landlord. But according to NYC Housing & Maintenance Code, Subchapter 2, Article 4: It specifically names bedbugs in the list of insects that the landlord is legally obligated to eradicate. The following is an email I received from my landlord:
Please see the signed Bed Bug Rider that you signed when you first occupied the apartment on 7/10/2014. It says, “Landlord reserves its right to hold tenant financially responsible for all bedbug infestations, and may seek reimbursement from Tenant for any cost Landlord incurs as a result thereof”. Please note that within the last year there have been no bed bugs on your floor. Therefore you did not receive them from the building, because of this you are financial responsible.
I think your landlord is responsible for the cost and will not be able to pass the cost on to you despite the fact you signed that rider.
This is contrary to the laws in NYC and you will not be responsible for the cost. The landlord may bring suit against you trying to enforce the rider you signed, however, you have a complete defense in that the City requires the landlord to pay for and treat bedbug infestation.
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Dear New York Tenant:
Your landlord is wrong. There is no scientific method to establish you caused the bed bugs infestation in your apartment. There are narrow exceptions to the statute but you did not identify an allowed exception to the landlord having primary responsibility to eradicate bed bugs at the landlord's expense.
I have forty years experience in the specialty of Housing Law and Tenant's Rights advocacy. The answer I provided to you does not create an attorney and client relation. You are free to check my office contact information at my AVVO profile. The answer offered is in the nature of general information, and should not be considered as tailored legal advice. I offer answers as a service to the community with my firm belief that you should try gain a good outcome for your legal issue and to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
The landlord must exterminate for bedbugs regardless of who caused them. In order to charge you for that, the landlord is going to have to PROVE that you are the source of the bedbugs and that is extremely difficult to prove. Most judges don't want to hear about it.
I agree with the other attorneys. The landlord is trying to pin the blame on you and charge you for the services.
The law makes the landlord responsible.
This does not constitute legal advice or the engagement of my services as an attorney.
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