This is a follow-up to this post about the new bed bug disclosure law applying to New York City rentals.
Presumably because I’ve contacted her about bed bugs in the past, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn emailed me today about this issue (along with, I’m sure, thousands of others).
I am reproducing this email below (note especially the information about what to do if your prospective landlord does not disclose bed bugs, and the relevant disclosure and complaint forms):
September 14, 2010
Dear New Yorker,
We wanted to pass along some important information for NYC tenants.
In 2009, the NYC Council created a Bed Bug Advisory Board (Local Law 14) comprised of the City’s best experts and entomologists to help us find ways to combat the growing number of bed bug infestations in NYC.
This summer, after several months of research, analysis and discussion, the Board released a major report outlining a series of recommendations in three critical areas:
* education and awareness;
* treatment and remediation; and
* monitoring and policy
The Council and the Administration have already committed the resources necessary to move forward with one of the Board’s key recommendations: the creation of a new bed bug web portal and dedicated staff to provide residents and businesses better access to the information and resources they need to safely rid themselves of these pests.
The Board also put together a list of best practices and guidelines that tenants and landlords can follow to help prevent and reduce the spread of bed bugs in their building.
You can view a copy of their full report online at http://council.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/bed_bugs_report_2010.pdf.
The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is also taking action. HPD is now offering residents free online and instructor-led courses on how to identify, rid and protect your home from bed bugs. Anyone interested in enrolling in one of these courses can register online at http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/courses/courses.shtml.
And finally, on the state front, this past month Governor Paterson signed into law the Bed Bug Disclosure Act, providing tenants a new layer of protection against these bugs.
Under this new law (effective immediately), landlords must notify prospective tenants in writing about any bed bug infestations that have occurred in their building in the past year.
We would like to thank the Governor, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Jose Peralta for providing us this important new tool in our fight against these bugs.
[Bedbugger: There’s a link to the current PDF of the DBB-N: Notice to Tenant: Disclosure of Bedbug Infestation history here.] If a landlord fails to provide you the attached bed bug disclosure form prior to your signing a lease, please consider filing a complaint with the NYS Dept. of Housing and Community Renewal.
Update: as of 10/30/2010, the DBB-NO form (to report landlords who do not provide the DBB-N disclosure form) is not available on the DCHR tenant forms page. Please contact DCHR online or call 311 to find out how to complain about a landlord who does not provide the DBB-N form prior to lease signing.
For additional information and resources on fighting bed bugs, please visit the Council’s Action Center at http://council.nyc.gov/html/releases/bedbugRESOURCES.shtml.
Updated 2/15/14: The DBB-NO form still isn’t online but the most current DBB-N as of today is posted here.