Moving out of infested apartment, what do I tell the landlord of my new place?(3 posts)
I'm in a tough spot. I realized I might have a bed bug problem around the time I signed the lease for my new apartment. It says in the lease that I am legally required to tell my landlord about any infestations in my current residence that I am aware of. I told her about an incident in 2009, and that the building (current residence) has an ongoing infestation. I did not tell her about this most recent one, and while I feel responisible and morally obligated to do so, I didn't for fear of getting refused as a tenant. Then for fear I woud be evicted. I really didn't want to give up that apartment and felt that I'd end up homeless with no apartment to move into if I told her. Now I feel if I don't handle this carefully I will become homeless either way.
I am unclear how to resolve this in a way that poses the least risk to my status as a tenant. The addendum makes no distinction between "purposefully" and "accidentally" infesting the apartment. However it does imply that as long as I pay for the landlord's PCO to treat any infestations I discover (provided I am already in the new apartment), it will not break the lease. I don't know if treating the current apartment is also covered under that guarantee, or I had to say what I was guessing to my new LL at that time of signing. (Which was only that there was a dead BB, not enough to determine a current infestation especially in my situation). If it is the former, I will comply with professional treatments in my current room and I am considering vikane in the moving truck as well. (I'm hoping I don't need to show the vikane people bugs, I only have fecal). If it's the latter, I have grounds to say I wasn't "aware" as I truly had more reason to believe the dead BB was simply a leftover (or a DE killed hitchhiker) rather than part of an infestation when I signed my lease. I had not seen anything at that point am not sure how it would hold up legally if I explained why. But I'd probably lose since I'm no good at this sort of thing.
Anyway, I don't know of any legal resources to help me sort this out. I don't know where or how to find those resources. I also don't want to give away my location in the forums and would rather do it over PM.
My fecal matter/evidence thread is here:
My panicking/personal BB history:
From your other posts, it sounds like you're not even sure you have bed bugs -- I think there's a difference between worrying you could have them and knowing you have them.
But if you are concerned about being evicted, you need to talk to a tenants' rights organization in your town. Google the name of your town with things like "tenants" and "bed bugs + rights" and "renters' rights" and "landlord laws" -- stuff like that until you find something. Also, you can try calling any community organizations that advocate for low-income people in general -- google the name of your town and words/phrases like "community organization." They will most likely be able to help or to point you in the right direction, since housing is a huge issue for these organizations. Another thing to try is the office of local elected officials. If your town has something like a City Council, try calling the representative for your district. They may be able to give you advice or to direct you to someone who can help. Where I live (Chicago) aldermen help people with bed bug issues, and many staffers have become experts because it's such a huge problem here.
I updated my other post. It's looking more and more likely, unfortunately.
I contacted some I found, but they all have terrible hours. I fretted, and finally called the future landlord. That ended better than I thought it would... She didn't try to blame or evict me.... Just told me I had to have the school treat it or pay out of pocket.
The unfortunate part is she clearly had NO idea how terrible these things are and how labor intensive and long treatment can take. With only 6 weeks to treat, bringing them with me is a real concern and for better or worse she isn't worried as worried as she should be.
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