Bed bug infestations are a common problem in many types of locations, potentially causing injury to guests in hospitality facilities. You may be entitled to seek compensation if you believe the negligence of a facility’s management is responsible for a bed bug bite infestation that has affected you or a loved one. Hire a bed bug lawyer from our firm, and we’ll help you settle your legal case.
About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are small insects. They are just about 4-5 millimeters long and have elongated oval bodies and short antennae. You can find these insects in almost any place where humans sleep or rest, such as apartments, homes, hotels, dorms, etc.
They hide in mattresses or other furniture that give them easy access to their food source—humans. You can also find bed bugs hiding between the cracks and crevices in walls or floors near beds or couches. Bed bugs bite exposed skin while their hosts are sleeping. The bites usually cause red bumps and intense itching for several days.
Hotel Obligations About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs feed on human blood. Although they don’t spread diseases, their bites can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel or apartment building with bed bugs, you have consumer rights to seek compensation.
Hotels are responsible for ensuring that all their rooms remain pest-free so guests can enjoy a comfortable stay without fear of being bitten by bugs while sleeping. Hotels must act right away if there is evidence of a bed bug infestation in one or more rooms. To care for an infestation, hotels must thoroughly clean up any infested areas immediately and ensure their affected guests receive proper compensation for the inconvenience caused by bed bugs.
On the other hand, as a guest, you should immediately contact the hotel’s management to ask for another room if you find bed bugs in your hotel bed or space. You should also notify management of any bed bug bites you may have received while staying in the room so they can begin treating the problem accordingly.
What to Do After Finding Bed Bugs in Your Apartment
You should immediately inform your landlord about a bed bug infestation in your space once you see it. This is to ensure they can start taking steps toward resolving the issue before it worsens. Your landlord should provide you with safe living conditions—free from bed bugs and other pests, so make sure they know about any problems immediately.
Disclosure of Information About a Bed Bug Infestation
Generally speaking, home furniture sellers and owners of hotel, apartment, and condominium buildings must disclose any knowledge of past or present pest issues to potential buyers or tenants. This allows them to make an informed decision about staying at hotels, renting apartments, buying homes, and purchasing furniture.
We strongly advise consumers to always ask questions about past pest issues before signing on the dotted line. Knowing your rights as a consumer will help ensure that if you ever encounter bed bugs, you’ll know precisely how best to handle the situation safely and effectively.
Tenants’ Legal Rights in a Bed Bug-Infested Apartment
The laws around bug-infested apartments are unclear and ambiguous, so you must consult our lawyer for bed bug victims to determine your rights and responsibilities. Any renter may contact the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and request an inspection.
You can expect the inspector to check with other tenants, especially adjacent units and surrounding common areas, to investigate where the infestation began and whether there are other affected units in the building.
According to D.C. Municipal Regulations Rule 14-805.3, “if an infestation of a single habitation is caused by failure of the owner or licensee to maintain a residential building in a rodent-proof or reasonably insect-proof condition, the exterminating shall be done by the owner or licensee.”
Therefore, if your unit owner or landlord fails to maintain the residential building, they are responsible for the bill. Although your apartment is the only one affected, you may still hold the source responsible for the costs of professional bed bug extermination. Let our bed bug lawyers guide you through the investigation process and lawsuit filing if necessary.
Causes of Action Available to You
Negligence occurs when your landlord fails to maintain their property properly, and the failure is unreasonable under the circumstances. As a tenant, you can sue your landlord if their negligence caused you injury.
The battery is an intentional act that results in harmful or offensive bodily contact with another person. For example, suppose your landlord knows about bed bugs on their property but fails to eliminate the infestation. In that case, when the bed bugs bite you, you may sue your landlord under the theory of battery to pursue damages.
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