LEGAL ACTION: Possible Rent Abatement?(8 posts)
Thanks to a neighbor's negligence, I've been living with BBs for over a year. It has been an ongoing nightmare, and I have done my best to keep them under control. The best PCOs could not get rid of them because the entire building is infested. My landlord has hired a new PCO who just sprays the hallways once a month, but all my neighbors--who are also infested--have refused to be treated. They say it doesn't bother them to have bugs in their beds!
I am now considering legal action. I recently found this landmark case, which should be of interest to any renter living with long-term BBs:
The tenant got a 45% rent abatement for the duration of the infestation. Has anyone else in NYC had such luck? Any success stories out there? What about legally compelling the neighbors to accept PCO treatment? Also, if anyone can recommend an affordable lawyer in the city, that would be great.
Treatment can be forced in the building. About how many bugs have you found in your apartment over the last year, and have you saved them?
We have at least 20 bugs saved and dated--adults and nymphs. We have photos of bites dating back to the beginning. We have photos of fecal stains and blood stains on the sheets. We have receipts for the $2500 we've spent on casements, hardware, sprays, etc., etc.
Sounds like you have enough ammo to use against the buildings management. I guess the first step in NY would be to call 311 and go from there. I can't give you legal advice but I'm sure you can find more info over on http://www.newyorkvsbedbugs.org
Thanks--I hope so. Does anyone know a tenant lawyer in NYC who might be good at handling a BB case? Any leads are appreciated.
Details about a number of bed bug lawsuits are linked to from this FAQ, and if you read the individual articles you can in many cases find the lawyer who represented the plaintiffs -- and many of them are in NYC.
Thanks Nobugs! I think we're going to see more and more of this. If you, or anyone, has put together a legal guide, that would be great. Like a "What to do to prepare for legal action" handbook/FAQ--the things you should do before you ever even call a lawyer.
I'm thinking about certified letters to landlords, writing down every communication you have with the landlord, dates of treatments, lists of pesticides used, bug specimens, etc.
Maybe it's a no-brainer, but having it written down in one place helps when you're feeling crazy. Just reading over many of your FAQs has calmed me down in rough moments!
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