Who Should Pay for Bed Bug Treatment in Virginia
We recently discovered bed bugs in our apartment. I informed the management and was told that they will inspect all units and if I am the only unit we have to pay to cost. Is that correct? I asked if I can be present for the inspection and was told NO. How can I protect my self if I think the bugs are coming from different apartment? I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Comment from Our Editor On Who Pays for Bed Bug Treatment in Virginia
In Virginia, it can depend on the specific circumstances and lease agreement as to whether renters or landlords pay for bed bug treatment. According to Virginia state laws, landlords are responsible for providing tenants with a safe and habitable living space, which includes being free from infestations of bed bugs or other pests. If a tenant reports a bed bug infestation to their landlord and the landlord fails to take action to exterminate the bed bugs, the landlord may be in violation of the warranty of habitability. As a result, the landlord may be responsible for the cost of extermination.
However, if the tenant is found to be responsible for bringing the bed bugs into the rental unit, such as through a failure to properly maintain personal property, or by having visitors with bed bugs, the tenant may be responsible for the cost of extermination.
It's important to have a clear understanding of the terms of the lease agreement and to check with local authorities to confirm the specific laws and regulations regarding bed bugs
infestation and eviction in Virginia. It would be best to review your lease agreement and if there is any doubt contact the landlord or consult with legal advice.
Virginia law does not specifically mention bed bugs. The law does not explicitly say whether landlords or tenants are responsible for getting rid of bed bugs. Virginia law does require all landlords to follow building and housing codes affecting health and safety, and to make all repairs needed to keep the place fit and habitable. Because bed bugs make rental housing not habitable, this generally means landlords are responsible for getting rid of bed bugs.
Under Code of Virginia §§55-248.16 and 55-225.4 a tenant must do three things.
• Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes affecting health and safety.
• Keep that part of the premises the tenant occupies free from insects and pests.
• Promptly notify the landlord of the existence of any insects or pests.
Does this mean the tenant is responsible for getting rid of bed bugs?
No. Under Virginia law – Code of Virginia §§55-248.16(A)(14) and 55-225.4(A)(14) – “the tenant shall be financially responsible for the added cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenant’s unreasonable delay in reporting the existence of any insects or pests and be financially responsible for the cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenant’s fault in failing to prevent infestation of any insects or pests in the area occupied.
You can get more information by contacting and visiting Virginia Legal Aid