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Does landlord have give back rent money if tenant moves out because of bed bugs?

by Baffled by bugs
(San Diego, CA)

Does landlord have to give back unused portion of rent if tenant moves out because of bed bugs? Tenant is renting a room month to month & has been in home (renting one bedroom) for only a few weeks when bugs bit tenant. Prior tenants in the room had no issue with bug bites. Other room next to this room has no evidence of the bugs & no bites on that person or previous roommate. Home is clean. No idea how room got bugs. Tenant checked into hotel til new housing has been found. Landlord/owner getting pest company to inspect & treat. Owner/landlord lives in home in other bedroom. No bites or bugs there.

Editor Suggestion

Hi Baffled,

In California, landlords are required to provide habitable living conditions for their tenants. This includes addressing pest infestations like bed bugs. Under California Civil Code § 1941.1, landlords are required to maintain rental properties in a habitable condition, which includes being free from infestations of pests.

If the tenant had to move out of the rental property temporarily due to a bed bug infestation, the landlord may be responsible for addressing the issue and potentially reimbursing the tenant for any costs related to the move, such as hotel expenses, if the landlord was found to be negligent. However, this can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the situation and the terms of the rental agreement.

As for the unused portion of rent, the landlord might be required to return it, especially if the tenant could not live in the rental property because of the bed bug infestation. However, this can be a complicated matter and may depend on the specific facts of the case.

Given the complexity of landlord-tenant disputes, it is a good idea to consult with a local attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law to better understand your rights and responsibilities in this specific situation.

Best of luck,

Editor and Publisher
Bed Bugs Handbook

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