Written by attorney Morgan Jay Seegmiller

How to deal with Bedbugs as an Arizona Tenant or Landlord, Bed bugs, Bed bug, Bedbug

For reasons beyond my area of expertise, many Arizona tenants and landlords are having problems with bedbugs. They are annoying, they can spread rapidly, they can present health hazards, and they are very difficult to get rid of. Luckily, the Arizona legislature has addressed this common problem in what is known as the "Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act." The following is the information you need to know if you are a tenant or a landlord in Arizona and are either suffering from, or receiving complaints about, bedbugs. Violations of these responsibilities by either side could affect both parties' rights under the lease such as the right or responsibility to pay rent, to pay for remediation of the bedbugs, or to continue the lease:

Arizona Revised Statutes§ 33-1319. Bedbug control; landlord and tenant obligations; definitions

"A. A landlord has the following obligations with respect to a bedbug infestation:

1. The landlord shall provide bedbug educational materials to existing and new tenants. Educational materials may include:

(a) A description of measures that may be taken to prevent and control bedbugs.

(b) Information about bedbugs, including a description of their appearance.

(c) A description of behaviors that are risk factors for attracting bedbugs such as purchasing renovated mattresses, using discarded mattresses and furniture, using used or leased furniture, purchasing pre-owned clothing and traveling without proper precautions.

(d) Information provided by the United States centers for disease control and prevention and other federal, state or local health agencies.

(e) Information provided by federal, state or local housing agencies.

(f) Information provided by nonprofit housing organizations.

(g) Information developed by the landlord.

2. The landlord shall not enter into any lease agreement with a tenant for a dwelling unit that the landlord knows to have a current bedbug infestation.

B. A tenant has the following obligations with respect to a bedbug infestation:

1. The tenant shall not knowingly move materials into a dwelling unit that are infested with bedbugs.

2. A tenant who knows of the presence of bedbugs shall provide the landlord written or electronic notification of the presence of bedbugs.

C. This section does not limit any other rights, remedies and obligations under this chapter.

D. The landlord and tenant of a single family residence are excluded from the provisions of this section.

E. Except as specifically provided in this section, this section does not create a cause of action against:

1. A landlord or a landlord's employees, officers, agents and directors by a tenant or a tenant's guests for any damages caused by bedbugs.

2. A tenant by a landlord for any damages caused by bedbugs.

F. For the purposes of this section:

1."Bedbugs" means any insect in the genus Cimex and its eggs.

2."Infestation" or "infested" means that the presence of bedbugs is sufficient to materially affect the health and safety of tenants and their guests."

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