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New Hampshire Bed Bug Laws, Information & Resources

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"Bed Bug problems have been reported throughout the State of  New Hampshire. There have been more reports in the past 2 years than in the last 5. The Union Leader reports that bed bugs are a problem in places such as Nashua, Berlin and Milford. To fight the problem, municipalities are forming groups such as the Manchester Bed Bug Action Committee to coordinate efforts among homeowners, renters, exterminators, health offices, and the motel/hotel industry. In Nashua the Division of Public Health & Community Services Health Officer indicated that it is an issue that is getting worse." 

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tenant rights and bed bug Laws

New Hampshire has passed HB 428 to clarify tenant and landlord responsibilities when it comes to people that live in rental properties.

Landlords are required to investigate bed bug infestations and then take reasonable measures to remediate an infestation. They must do this within 7 days of receiving a report or they can face charges of contempt and contempt damages.

Once a bed bug problem is reported to your building's management team, they must be allowed to inspect the problem within 72 hours of the report. If they need to inspect adjacent units (upstairs, downstairs, next door), they need to provide 48 hours notice before entering. Tenants must provide emergency entry or face contempt and contempt damages.

Preparing Your Apartment for Inspection

You must receive instructions in writing for preparing for any treatment. Instructions must arrive 72 hours before any treatment is applied. Tenants can receive a violation for failure to comply. Note that tenants can be evicted if they fail to allow landlords to prepare the unit for treatment (referred to as remediation).

Payment

Landlords must pay all treatment costs, however they can recover those costs from the tenant if they can prove that the tenant is responsible for the problem. For example, if the issue is only in the tenant's unit, then the landlord can hold the tenant responsible. Failure to pay can result in a tenant being evicted. 

A tenant can only be held responsible if there were no reports of bed bugs in the unit or in other adjacent units over the previous 6 months. If a dispute goes to court, the court will consider factors such as if the tenant had bed bugs before they moved in, where the bed bugs were first discovered, and if there are any other reports in your building.

Read more at New Hampshire Legal Aid

Relevant List of New Hampshire Bed Bug Laws

  • HB 482 (eff. Jan. 1, 2014), allows emergency entry re bed bugs, provided within 72 hours of becoming aware of complaint (if tenant adjacent to complaining unit – 48 hrs advance notice).
  • HB 482 makes it a 540-A violation for a landlord to willfully fail to investigate, or fail to take reasonable measures to remediate an infestation within 7 days.
  • HB 482 makes it a 540-A violation for tenants to refuse entry, or refuse to comply with 72 hour advance instructions prior to remediation.
  • HB 482 (at RSA 540:13-e) requires landlords to pay up-front for all bed bug remediation costs.
  • HB 482 allows landlords to recover costs for remediation in tenant’s unit only, and only if tenant “responsible.”

Government Resources

2-1-1 Hotline: Call the New Hampshire State hot line for information on bed bug laws.

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service:  There is a cooperative extension office in each county (Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Cobs, Grafton, HIssborough, Merimack, Rockingham, Strafford, Sullivan).   The service can be reached via phone and will answer you bed bug questions.  You can reach the Family, Home & Garden Education Center M-F 9AM - 2PM at 1-877-298-4769.  

They can also refer you to a resource to confirm that the insect you trapped is in fact a bed bug (bedbugs are often confused with young roaches and beetles).  You can download the Cooperative Extension Bed Bug Fact Sheet (PDF).

New Hampshire bed bugs news

A Pest Problem: City Battling Bed Bugs
The Telegraph (Nashua)

Bed Bug Whistleblower a Pest Too
Union Leader

Local Bed bug control experts

It can cost $400 a room to treat bed bugs in New Hampshire.  Because of the high cost, it pays to get several quotes.  The easiest way to get a few quotes is to do the following:

1. Get up to four Free Quotes from the eLocal (877-673-2704): This is a national network of pest control companies that are pre-screened before being approved for membership in the network.  Each member needs to be licensed and insured.

2. Request a Quote Online From Home Advisor
Visit our page on finding an exterminator to request up to 3 quotes and for a list of questions to ask.

If you have a small infestation or need to treat a room yourself, we highly recommend that you purchase a kit designed for this purpose (using only 1 spray for example will not both kill bed bugs on contact and provide lasting protection).  Kits can be affordably purchased along with treatment instructions from Bed Bug Supply.

You do not need to throw out your mattresses. Instead use a bed bug proof mattress cover to trap any bed bugs. Don't use a cover until the mattress and surrounding areas have been treated. The cover will then trap any insects you might have missed during treatment.



faq

Do you have to throw out your bed if you have bed bugs

You do not have to throw out your bed if you have bed bugs. First treat the room, and then purchase a bed bug mattress cover to trap any insects missed during treatment.

How Did I Suddenly get bedbugs?

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can easily be carried into a home by yourself or visitors. Deliveries from a bed bug infested truck can also introduce the insects into your home.

can a landlord sue a tenant for bed bugs?

In New Hampshire a landlord can sue a tenant for the cost of treatment if the tenant is responsible for the infestation.

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