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Can my landlord sue us?

(6 posts)
  1. terrified234

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 9 2012 1:24:22
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    I know I've posted a few times on here but I read a comment on one of these posts stating that a landlord can sue a tenant for bringing bed bugs. Is this true? I live in Minnesota. If we have bed bugs, I know I was the one to bring them because I was at a hostel with bed bugs 6 weeks ago. I was not at all negligent when I found out. I freaked out so bad that I left my suitcase in the other country. The only things I brought back were my purse and backpack, and I tossed the bags before bringing some papers and my souveneirs inside. I definitely did not check the souveneirs over as well as I should have though. It never occurred to me that they could hitch a ride on something like that. I always thought fabric, for some reason. I cannot bear the thought of being sued over this because my family has NO money. I know that I haven't found a bug yet but oh my god. Reading that has seriously scared me, more than the bed bugs themselves.

  2. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 9 2012 2:11:26
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    There's only one person that can answer that: an attorney for housing in your city/state. Essentially, you're asking what your risks are. That's more an attorney question.

    You can look in the FAQs and it will list tenant contact numbers for your area. Generally, a tenant association mat know if that's a real possibility in your area. Legalhelp.info also lists numbers for attorney help lines in your area.These may provide free to low cost consultation.

  3. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 9 2012 2:28:32
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    Hi, I need to look at the FAQS to see which tenant's groups are listed. This is a not-for-profit tenant's advocacy group in Minnesota. They generally don't charge fees, but have to in Minneapolis (because of funding). It is $25 for $20 minutes, which is pretty reasonable. The group had a seminar on bedbugs and tenant rights this Spring, so you may wish to make it clear what the issue is. Here is the link with the fee information and how to prepare for the meeting if your family choses to use this service.

    http://www.homelinemn.org/minneapolis/

    I have no link to this organization, just check their website for issues surrounding multifamily housing and landlords.

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  4. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 9 2012 2:31:35
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    Ok, here's the link in FAQS, which says it's free. I copied Homeline's link which states there is a charge in Minneapolis above. You can go to the FAQs section to read the article (it's under the who pays link):

    Minnesota

    According to Kelly Klein’s Renting and the Law column in the Star-Tribune, if you are a tenant with bed bugs,

    You have the right to demand that your landlord take action to resolve the issue. Under Minnesota law, the landlord has to remedy such problems.

    What’s more, Klen says you may have a right to a rent escrow action if the problem is not remedied in 14 days. Please read her column on this, and contact local tenants’ advice organizations or a lawyer or legal aid service if you need help; we are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice.

    This article in the Minnesota Post from May 2009 suggests Minnesota tenants call non-profit tenant advocacy organization HOME Line for advice on their rights.

    If you’re a renter and need legal advice about your bedbug problem, you can call HOME Line‘s tenant hotline. The hotline provides free legal advice to tenants. Call 612-728-5767. If you’re calling from Greater Minnesota, call 866-866-3546.

  5. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 9 2012 2:41:49
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    Sorry for reposting above. I haven't read your other posts and I'm not a lawyer..nor should I give legal advice...but it sounds like you are just worried about it at this point..I had a scare over a year ago and it wasn't...so just keep looking and researching..the knowledge you gain here may help protect you and your family in the future.

    I'd be careful about discussing this with too many people until you have your research done..it sounds like you are blaming yourself and the situation could be more complex than that.. especially if you share a wall with neighbors...

    Good luck. I won't be on the computer much tomorrow.

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Mon Jul 9 2012 11:33:03
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    You should go for the low cost tenants' advice mentioned above -- or speak with a lawyer.

    However, I also want to note that

    (1) It sounds like you're assuming you brought bed bugs in because you visited a hostel. Do you have any proof? Remember timing may be coincidental.

    (2) Even if you did bring them in, in many locations the laws aren't based on a determination of who brought them in (in some cases, especially in parts of Canada, this does come up.) This is why knowing the local laws and how they apply is key.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."

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