We have rented a unit a few months ago to a new tenant. I know firsthand that when we cleaned up and rennovated the unit that no bed bugs were present. The current tenants have already trashed the unit and now claim they have bed bugs (along with fleas from their cats which they never registered with the office). My question is whose responsiblity is this if ultimately there are found to bed bugs in the unit?
It is the resident’s responsibility. All such damage is the fault of the tenant and they must pay for it. That said, please do not confuse ‘damage’ with ‘normal wear and tear.’ You can not hold accountable a tenant for walking on the carpets and wearing them down, or using the plumbing, and eventually having a water heater fail. But all ‘damage’ - including pest infestation - is always the responsibility of the resident to cure.
You should now deliver to the resident a letter (and mail one return receipt requested) that documents their lease violations (the unregistered pet, the trashing of the unit, bed bugs, etc.). Consult a local attorney to determine what is a reasonable cure period (probably a week or two). Then if they do not correct their violations, take them to court and evict them and sue for the damages.
You may not be able to collect, but at least you’ll get your home back and can try again with a (hopefully) more responsible resident. You’ll also send the right message through your community that abuse of private property will not be tolerated.
This resident is probably also bothering their neighbors. By making the home available to a more responsible and deserving family, you’ll begin to create a virtuous circle. Responsible residents will refer other responsible residents into your community and you’ll create a nice, safe place for families living on $10/hour to raise their families.
Best of luck,
A little know but highly effective form of bed bug detection is a trained dog. I have used there services before and it has been worth while. Google search bed bugs revealed and you’ll see one of the websites. There are a lot of companies out there that do this.
For those tired of paying endless bed bug extermination bills there is a DIY electric commercial grade bed bug heater available from: www.pestprothermal.com