bed bug help needed: tell us about tenants’ rights in your city

by nobugsonme on November 28, 2006 · 11 comments

in bed bugs, government, housing laws, information and help

I want to update the FAQ on tenants’ rights (relating to pests). If you find a website that lists these for your city or state, please click “comments” above this post and give me the URL and any other suggestions. As you can see, the list is far from complete. Any city, any locality, any country welcomed. Thanks!

1 Sean November 28, 2006 at 1:54 am

In October of this year the city of Vancouver BC has extended the responsibilities of a landlord to include bed bug erradication.

Their are some loopholes, like the client must cooperate with the pest control companies.

In addition, as of February 2007 it will be illegal for landlords to apply any pest related chemicals within a suite other than their own personal living space. If they would like to do so they will need to become a licensed pest control operator.

Entomologist / Pest Professional

2 deb November 29, 2006 at 8:45 pm

Below is the link to San Francisco’s Bedbug laws…Landlords MUST respond within 48 hrs. with a plan of action and execute that action with 72 hrs. !! Where in G-d’s name is NYC !! Here is the link… ps…Harold Stein , President of Crane Pest Control in San Francisco is the gentleman who testfied at the EPA hearings in the 70’s to try and keep DDT on the market…I spoke to him recently and he says to this day that DDT was the best pesticide on the market…cheap, effective and taken away by alarmist science…deb

3 deb November 29, 2006 at 9:27 pm

Sean…I am not certain that I understand your post…you say that Vancouver has extended the responsibilites of a landlord to include bed bug eradication…then you say that as of Feb. 2007 it will be illegal for them to treat any apt. other than their own??? Unless they become a licensed pest control operator???? So in other words they have to become licensed themselves..and do the treatment themselves rather than hire a professional !! Canada is a very bb infested country and they should be doing everything possible to get rid of them…this seems like a bad law…

4 Sean November 29, 2006 at 11:12 pm

Hi Deb,

I think you misunderstand.

Before October landlords were not legally on the hook to have to pay for bed bug treatments. As of October they will be required to pay for treatment of their tenant’s suites.

In February the BC government will be disallowing landlords to apply pesticides unless they are licenced. This is a FABULOUS thing as pesticides in the hands of the untrained are a dangerous thing.

Essentially in February they will either need to undergo the training or hire a professional.

The end result is a safer, more educated approach to ridding pests.


Entomologist / Pest Professional

5 deb November 30, 2006 at 1:32 am cleared it other words they cannot do the treatments themselves unless they are licensed…thus forcing them to have to hire a professional rather than say they will do it themselves…so yes it IS a good law…and I am so relieved…because Vancouver is really experiencing bad infestations….I have visited Vancouver twice…a beautiful city but I was taken aback by the outward use of needle drugs in the daytime…my husband, son and I came across used needles on the sidewalks..and saw people shooting up in a park only a few blks from our Downtown Hotel..So I am relieved to hear that they are getting “tough on bedbugs”….Thank you Sean..Are they using different chemicals than those in the States ???

6 nobugsonme November 30, 2006 at 3:30 am

Thanks Deb and Sean, I have added your info on Vancouver and SF to the FAQ on tenant’s rights. I liked the SF info so well, I also added it to the links to fact sheets (left sidebar).

7 Sean November 30, 2006 at 5:43 pm

Hi Deb,

There are few cities in North America that are not experiencing bed bugs.

The area that is bad with junkies is very limited. There are one or two streets in the downtown core and one street off the beaten path.

The rest of Vancouver is beautiful.

8 deb November 30, 2006 at 7:13 pm

Well Vancouver is beautiful…but take it from a tourist Sean…those drug riddled streets are a little too close for comfort….I think Vancouver is too liberal in its views of drug usage…but that said…I loved the City..and I loved Vancouver Island…it was a great trip….I have wonderful memories of it ..and would visit again when my fear of bedbugs is gone!! Deb – by the way..what pesticides are they using ???

9 Grace August 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Does anyone know what rights, as a tenant we have against LL for bedbug infastation? Can a tenant withhold rent untill the problem is fixed? Whats costs must the LL be responsible? let me know. email pls.

10 latisha moore April 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

i’m pretty sure i have bed bugs but i live in memphis tn and i dont think they have any type of law saying that the landlords have to pay to get rid of the bugs i think the tenants have to pay can someone pls help me i dont know where to start looking for info on this situation.

11 nobugsonme April 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm


I’m not sure of the laws regarding pests in Memphis or Tennessee.

This pamphlet does not mention pests but does give some free numbers you can call for legal aid to ask questions about tenants’ rights. I would suggest calling them to ask.

Another way to find out is to go to the reference desk in the main public library, and ask about what the local laws pertaining to rentals say about whose responsibility it is to eliminate pests.

Good luck!

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