San Francisco Tenant Rights regarding bed bugs?(2 posts)
So, I've been being bitten in my sleep over the last 6 months and for all this time I thought it was flea or spider bites. Tonight, while packing some stuff up (because I'm moving in a month) a huge bedbug crawled out of the pages of a book I picked up. I was revolted. I had no idea what it was. I smashed it and was horrified by all the blood that came out of it. Then I looked up images and sure enough, it was a bed bug. Other than that there have been no signs and there is no feces or signs of eggs on my mattress.
I have 2 big concerns right now. The First:
Will I get my deposit back if I report the bedbugs? I signed something in my rental contract that said I have to report any bedbug infestation and that I agree to not sue the rental company(Bedbugs have been an epidemic in SF over the last few years). But can they sue me? Can they keep my deposit and justify it by paying for pest control with it? I can't afford that and its keeping me from wanting to report it, because I am already moving out of state anyhow.
Which brings me to my second concern... I do NOT want to bring these jerks with me. I plan to get a mattress cover, wash clothes and vacuum bag them, and I'm getting rid of a lot of furniture already. Now I'm wondering if I should ditch most of my furniture... can the bugs burrow into/live in wood? I inspected my futon, unzipped it and looked in the cotton.... I saw no signs. I looked at the base of the bed and no signs there either.
Anyway, any advice, especially legal advice, is really appreciated. I'm sure people are going to tell me that I HAVE to report it and yada yada. If I don't report it before moving, I'll do it once I have the deposit back. But if I know my landlord can't try to keep my $2000 deposit I'll be way more inclined to do it. I'd love to have my belongings go through a round of pest control on them actually.
I don't think anyone here is an expert on SF rental laws. And even if they claimed to be, you would probably not be able to verify that.
You need to get in touch with a tenants' rights organization in San Francisco. There are comparable organizations in most large cities and I would be surprised if there was not a strong one there. Often they are well-versed in local tenant laws and how to deal with various situations.
I can't recommend one, but try the San Francisco Tenants Union and/or the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco. Both websites claim their respective organization offers counseling on tenants' rights.
If you do contact one of these, we'd appreciate hearing about your experiences.
A lawyer is another option, and legal aid clinics are sometimes available and often associated with law schools, if you can't hire a lawyer.
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