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Tenant Laws in NY, Not NYC?

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  1. AllDevilBugsMustDie

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 27 2018 12:44:02
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    Hi all,

    Unfortunately, I as am unlucky enough as all of you to be here due to the devil bugs. My questions are: 1) In NY state (NOT NYC) are there any specific laws regarding who is responsible for exterminator payment, landlord or tenant? I am having a hard time finding anything specific to NY outside of NYC. 2) Is it possible for my landlord to try and evict me if I fight payment, as there is no way to prove where the bugs came from in the first place?

    Backstory: I live in an old Victorian style up/down. I am the upstairs. My neighbor moved in the end of last Aug. (2017). Prior to her there was a family of refugees from Nepal for maybe 6 months or so. They had about 8 names on the mailbox and had friends/relatives coming and going constantly. When my new neighbor moved in she had the landlord do a caulking/sealing job. I started to get the odd bite here and there but had no idea what it was and being summer/fall chalked it up to mosquitoes. All bugs love me and I react badly to them all. For awhile things were quite and I never saw any bugs or signs and never really thought anything of it, until...

    The end of this past Aug. (2018) I started getting alot of bites in clusters that would come and go, seemingly every few hours. I also get hives and have been extremely stressed lately, so I just thought it was my hives at first. Until I woke up on my couch early one morning and saw one coming at me to feed. I caught it and took pictures before killing it. I knew instantly what it was and was completely freaked out, terrified, and disgusted. Thank God I'd mostly been sleeping on the couch for awhile, so hopefully my bed was mostly spared, as it looked to be really clean and in good shape upon inspection. (Except unfortunately the mattress is blue.)

    I consulted with my neighbor who was in the process of moving out at the time and had been inspecting things while packing up. She said she had seen a possible nymph or two plus an odd possible cast shell, but no other signs and no bites. She also had the house centipedes from the basement to help out with the odd random bugs in her place and she had a cat. Being upstairs I've never seen one until after the first treatment.

    I sent my landlord the photos (and immediately started to prep) and she contacted an exterminator (highly recommended) all the while whining about how much this was costing her (implying she was going to pay). The PCO (?) had said it seems like they've been here for "awhile" by the photos and were scheduled for 9/5. Due to my neighbor moving out at the time, it was rescheduled for 9/10. They came on 9/10 and I was not impressed at all. Two guys in normal street clothes showed up in an unmarked minivan with a canister sprayer. I showed them my couch which appeared to be ground zero and asked them to please treat all furniture in that room. Being that my place is very small and awkward to boot, I had no way of knowing upon my return if they had touched anything or not. It didn't appear so.

    My landlord had her handyman downstairs THE NEXT DAY replacing the floors in the kitchen and bathroom because she has it on Craigslist for Oct. 1 availability. She also had the DS treated twice only (preventative treatment). All along she had implied that she was covering the cost but as soon as I had mentioned another non-related issue with my apt. (an appliance issue) she starts saying that since "I brought them in" (her first accusation in the beginning) that I'm responsible for the cost and gave me a copy of the bill after they had already come and gone. If it's my responsibility, shouldn't I be the one to choose? Their website is not very enlightening and I am awaiting a return call from them.

    They were here again on 9/24 and sprayed the baseboards (not very thouroghly, as I was following him around asking questions and watching) U/DS with something they labelled as "BB Mix"??? 5 gal. entire/cracks/crevices, according to the bill-this is for the entire bill to date, for 3U and 2DS prev. treatments. 5 gallons? BB Mix?? (My entire apt. is one GIANT crack and/or crevice and I'm terrified this isn't going to work.) I have one more visit scheduled.

    My bed has been encased since the first treatment and has some homemade climb-ups with DE in them, but I am still sleeping on a cot (with rounded across the floor legs, so I can't use climb-ups on it, only sticky traps) in the living room so as to try and contain any spread and will do so until I am sure they are gone. I am still getting bites (yes, new) and seeing the odd blood smear/fecal stain, but no other evidence. I have tossed any fabric furniture from my living room and did clean and inspect any wood items, finding nothing. Just about everything I own is bagged and will stay so until I move (sadly, not until next June).

    I could go on and on but am trying to keep this as brief as possible. Should I offer to pay for half the treatment? As I explained to her, I have not traveled (my neighbor traveled all the time)or taken in any used furniture, but I did graduate from college in May where they have dorms and have been to see a friend in the hospital. I have no idea where they came from or when...We also have mice (again) that she did agree to own up to and pay for. Could they have come from the mice? I have been living on borrowed money since before my graduation and have no more. I don't have the money to pay for my rent and bills, let alone this. I start a 3 month job (finally!) on 10/8 and I'm terrified of them being in my car or somehow possibly spreading them to work. In the middle of all this nightmare I have to learn a new job and continue job hunting as well as start studying for a national exam for my degree credential (an RHIT) which coincidentally must be taken by the end of my job assignment or I'll have to pay the hefty fee and reschedule it again.

    My biggest question is: Is it possible that they were DS first from the Nepali tenants, sealed in the walls after my neighbor moving in and getting it sealed, and possibly dormant for awhile before making it up to me over the course of a year or so?? Am I doing the right things? Is this going to work due to the dilapidated state of my crappy apt? Are they in my car? It's been raining alot here so I can't clean it properly yet. My bites are driving me crazy right now and I just want this misery to end. Will it ever?

    If anyone can provide any insights or answers to any of my questions, or just wants to commiserate, I'd appreciate it. I'm so scared to start this new job and bring my exam books back out to study and I'm at my wits end with all of this. It is truly a living hell and since I live alone it's all just on me.

    If you read all of this I applaud you and I'm glad I found this site, even though it can also be quite scary, it also provides some great tips and makes me feel a little less alone. Keep up the good fight because All. Devil. Bugs. Must. Die!!! Thanks for listening/reading.

  2. dude

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Thu Sep 27 2018 14:00:38
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    well I'm from Canada not NY and I rent an apartment building. from my experience I would assume if you are renting then it is the landlord responsibility. like at the end of the day it's their property not yours and they have the obligation of keeping their establishment in good condition.

    as long as you the tenant do not cause any property damage then you should be fine cause bed bugs could have come from anywhere. a guest coming over, public transit etc. so dont pay anything at the end of the day the PCO company will come back and as the landlord for money and you just say you're not going to pay for it

  3. AllDevilBugsMustDie

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 2 2018 8:43:17
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    Thanks for the reply dude! That seems to be the basic response I get everywhere which is good. I've just been trying to find out definitively for my own peace of mind as I have way too much on my plate right now than having to also deal with her cheap slumlord ass. It also infuriates me that she's trying to rent it so quickly and isn't telling prospective tenants, which I believe she has to disclose any history for the past year? She's such scum. I can't wait to get out of her hellhole. Good luck in your fight!

  4. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 2 2018 10:58:46
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    The timeline does not fit that they originated with the family that moved out. If the couch appears to be ground zero I would say that makes sense.

  5. AllDevilBugsMustDie

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 2 2018 12:23:42
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    Thanks BigDummy. I just talked to the PCO who said that was possible, but as I said, I'm not too sure about the company. (They're supposed to be sending me emails of what "BB Mix" is, but nothing yet.) The couch has been in place for 3 years with no issues. Just trying to figure out where the hell they came from.

  6. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 2 2018 12:41:45
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    They can come from anywhere, you'll drive yourself crazy thinking about the pizza guy, that Amazon package, the plumber, etc...
    The important thing is to find their harborages and eradicate them, and it sounds like that is what is being done.

  7. BigDummy

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Tue Oct 2 2018 12:45:57
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    I've been experiencing very good results with CimeXa as opposed to DE. A little goes a very long way with a puffer-style applicator.

  8. AllDevilBugsMustDie

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Oct 3 2018 12:52:10
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    Thanks BigDummy. My slum landlord expecting me to pay without even allowing me to choose the company is the biggest reason for trying to figure out where they came from. The "BB Mix" is composed of D-Force, Exciter, and Crosscheck. After my 2nd treatment on Monday I did get (last night, Tuesday) a few new bites, but they were right in the middle of a lingering batch of older bites. Could they be a delayed reaction, or possibly some reaction to the chemicals? I did find one mid stage bug crawling in my bedding on Saturday, but it was crushed in attempted capture (no blood). I have my 3rd treatment on Friday 10/5. How soon after this is it safe to clean and at least unpack some basic clothing and dishes and attempt to return to normal? I'm starting a new job on Monday and having my proper dress clothes not being pulled from a plastic bag would be a big help. Also, I'm worried about them maybe being in my car. If I clean it and spray it with EcoRaider and put out some sticky traps will this be enough to help prevent any spread to my new job? Thanks for all the help!

  9. AllDevilBugsMustDie

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Oct 3 2018 13:23:28
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    From the FAQ:

    New York State

    From the New York State Attorney General’s Tenants Rights page:

    LANDLORDS’ DUTY OF REPAIR

    Landlords of buildings with three or more apartments must keep the apartments and the buildings’ public areas in “good repair” and clean and free of vermin, garbage or other offensive material. Landlords are required to maintain electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating systems and appliances landlords install, such as refrigerators and stoves in good and safe working order. Tenants should bring complaints to the attention of their local housing officials. (Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) §78 and §80; Multiple Residence Law (MRL) §174. The MDL applies to cities with a population of 325,000 or more and the MRL applies to cities with less than 325,000 and to all towns and villages.)...

    Does this mean that since this is a 2 apartment dwelling that I'm screwed in terms of payment? Upon finding the first bug, I immediately went over my lease and don't recall any specific clauses in it regarding exterminations. (Of course, now it is bagged up and packed away somewhere.) Could the BB's have come in from the mice we get every year? Thanks!

  10. AllDevilBugsMustDie

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    Posted 1 year ago
    Wed Oct 3 2018 13:24:37
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    I did offer to pay half of the BB bill (not for the mice) but told her she'd have to wait a few weeks for it.


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