A reader asks:
I’m wondering if there’s a legal duty for landlords to report an
infestation to potential tenants?
Local laws almost always specify the types of homes landlords are expected to provide (in good repair, free of pests, etc.) and so landlords are almost always required to provide a home without bed bugs, and to remove them when they appear. (We’ve outlined some of the local North American laws here.)
I am not a lawyer, but I’d consult one in this instance. For the record, I am also not enthusiastic about lawsuits for their own sake, but I do think something needs to be done as far as setting a precedent where not telling tenants about bed bugs gets a landlord in big trouble.
If you think that your landlord knew the residence was infested before it was rented, especially if they never treated it for bed bugs, you might have a case.