new york state bed bug laws

Understanding New York State Bed Bug Laws

Bed bugs bite! New York ranks at number 6 for the most bed bug infested cities.

But, these critters wreak havoc far and wide. An infestation can happen anywhere in the state, so you should know the New York State bed bug laws if you live here. These laws can affect you as a landlord and help you understand your rights as a resident.

New York State Bed Bug Laws

Knowing the bed bug laws for your state will help you understand where you legally stand when an infestation occurs. Keep reading to learn the bed bug laws for NYC and the rest of the state.

Bed Bugs Landlord’s Responsibility in New York State

The New York City Housing and Maintenance Code, Subchapter 2, Article 4, states that all New York tenants reserve the right to live in an environment free of bed bugs. This means that the landlord may not rent out a property with a current infestation.

NYC bed bug law also makes taking care of an infestation the responsibility of the property owner. New York law allows the landlord up to 30 days to correct the problem, as these critters create a health hazard and the state considers this a class B violation.

The landlord should not attempt to take care of the infestation on their own. They should only hire pest control professionals that carry licensing by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to specifically treat apartments for bedbugs.

But it does not end there. If any bed bug infestation occurred within the past year, the landlord must report it to the tenant. They must give a full report including all bed bug history for the past year. 

The New York Tenant’s Bed Bugs Responsibility

Though landlords must provide bed bug-free homes to their tenants, this does not mean that the tenant holds no responsibility. Tenants should know their responsibility with bed bugs in NYC and how to handle the situation.

Just as the landlord should provide a suitable space for living, the law requires tenants to keep up a sanitary environment that does not invite critters. If the tenant fails to do so, the landlord can sue or deduct the cost of pest removal from the tenant’s security deposit.

If a tenant does suspect a bedbug infestation in NYC, The ABC’s of Housing, states that a tenant should promptly call 311 to report it. This means that you should know what to look for. The signs of a bed bug infestation include:

  • physically seeing a small bug (though they hide well)
  • red, itchy bites that often run in a line
  • blood spots on pillowcases and sheets
  • musty odor
  • shed skins, shell casings, or dark, rusty colored spots

Waiting to report the problem can result in a larger infestation that can destroy your belongings, which you are typically responsible for as a tenant. If the landlord fails to take care of the infestation within the 30 days, tenants should call 1-866-275-3427 to file a complaint.

Call an Attorney for Help

Bed bugs pose a serious problem around the country. New York is not exempt.

Learning the New York State bed bug laws will help understand both your responsibilities and your rights. If you need an attorney to help you after a bed bug infestation, contact us!