According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, a Chattanooga, Tennessee landlord is seeking compensation from the former owner of his apartment building, claiming it was known to be infested with bed bugs but that this was not disclosed during the sale.
Bryan Kurtz of Chattanooga said he wants to be reimbursed for the $2,400 he paid Terminix to rid the apartment building of a bedbug infestation in November, one month after he acquired the property.
Kurtz said that when his tenants — who had been in the same property under the previous landlord — complained about bedbugs, he discovered they all were aware of a bedbug problem in June.
The previous owner didn’t mention the problem during the sale or help tenants get rid of the bedbugs when they were discovered, Kurtz said.
However, the article also cites a local real estate expert, who says it’s unclear under Tennessee laws whether the former owner would have had to disclose the problem.
Note: the article also says that, according to the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, the Tennessee Landlord and Tenant Act of 1975 “appears to require landlords to handle bedbug infestations.” However, the attorney general’s office “has not issued an opinion on whether the Tennessee Landlord and Tenant Act covers bedbugs.”
Bed bugs are spreading in Tennessee, and local officials need to clarify the laws, so tenants know what to do when they find bed bugs.