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What Should I Do About Bed Bugs in My San Diego Rental Property

by marjie s. p.
(2862 oceanview blvd, san diego)

I moved into a rental property and within days we were getting bites and thought it may be fleas since the neighbor downstairs told us the last tenant had a cat and dog.

I bought insecticides spray for fleas and sprayed the place. Yet, we(my son and I) continue to get bites that swell up and its itchy. Yet, my boyfriend wasn't getting bites. My son started getting asthma attacks and I was losing sleep and bothered whats happening.

Then I found what was biting me...never saw this bug before so I looked it up in the internet and found it to be bedbug. I went to see my doctor and showed him what I found. I told him I am losing sleep and the bites itch and my son asthma has flared up. mM lupus flared up due to the problem. That we also feel creepy crawlees and don't see anything on our skin?

That's when he prescribed medication and told me that my place is infected with bedbugs, mites and scabies. I went home and called my landlord that showed no concern. I then removed the carpet and discovered that the carpet has not been cleaned and was soaked with animal urine and feces, dry and wet in some areas. I took pictures and ask the landlord to come see and she did come over. She then said she will get back to me.

Until now the problem is my problem since the landlord told me that since I refuse to pay rent to her that i should move out because she needs to pay her mortgage. I can't move out financially and my credit is not so good to be able to move even if i wanted too. All my belongings are infected and can't afford to be replaced. I am disabled and live on fixed income. my illness is systemic lupus erthymitosis.

Editor Suggestions for When Your Apartment is Inhabitable Due to Bed Bugs or Other Insects

I'm sorry to hear about the difficult situation you are facing with the bed bug infestation in your rental property. We are not lawyers and cannot provide specific legal advice, but here are some general suggestions that may be helpful:

1. Review the lease agreement: Review your lease agreement to see if there is any mention of pest control responsibilities. Many states have landlord-tenant laws that require landlords to provide a habitable living environment, which includes keeping the rental property free from infestations. If your lease does not specify the
landlord's pest control responsibilities, you may want to research local landlord-tenant laws to see if they offer any protection for tenants facing bed bug infestations.

2. Contact local legal aid organizations: If you are unable to resolve the issue with your landlord, you may want to consider reaching out to local legal aid organizations to see if they can offer any assistance. They may be able to provide you with legal advice or connect you with resources to help you resolve the issue. In San Diego, while a tenant occupies an apartment, the landlord is required to properly maintain their property. This includes exterminating bed bugs, otherwise they are in violation of their legal responsibilities. If a landlord does not correct the infestation, tenants can legally vacate their apartments under the “process of constructive eviction.” After a tenant reports a suspected bed bug infestation, the landlord must hire an inspector to confirm or deny the report. The California civil code requires that landlords notify tenants within two business days of the inspector’s findings. If the infection has spread to common areas, then the landlord must provide the notice to all tenants, even if the source of the outbreak is not located in the common area. Contact a lawyer, but in our interpretation (to be confirmed by a lawyer), the law should be on your side.

3. Document the infestation: Document the infestation with photographs and keep a log of any bites or health issues that you or your family members are experiencing as a result of the bed bugs. This documentation may be helpful if you need to pursue legal action or negotiate with your landlord.

4. Consider seeking alternative housing: If the infestation is severe and your landlord is not taking action to resolve the issue, you may want to consider seeking alternative housing. Many cities and states have resources for low-income households that can help with finding affordable housing options.

5. Seek medical attention: If you or your son are experiencing health issues as a result of the infestation, it's important to seek medical attention. Your doctor may be able to provide you with additional resources or advice on how to manage the health effects of the infestation. Note that bugs bites are an allergic reaction meaning some people have reactions such as bites, and some people don't. It is possible for two people living in the same rental to have different allergic reactions.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving this difficult situation.

Bed Bugs Handbook

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