NYC landlords may be forced to disclose bed bugs to renters

By Teri Karush Rogers | May 12, 2010 - 6:10AM

A state assembly member for the Upper West Side and part of Hell’s Kitchen has introduced a bill that would require NYC landlords to tell potential renters about bed bug infestations in the building within the past five years.

The bill is “intended to combat the growing epidemic of bedbugs in New York, which have caused tremendous anguish, anxiety and financial hardship for residents across the socio-economic spectrum,” according to a press release on state assembly member Linda B. Rosenthal’s Facebook page.

As the activist site points out, the bill does not appear to apply to apartment sales, despite language suggesting otherwise in Rosenthal’s press release.

(UPDATE 5/12: According to an email from Rosenthal's legislative director, the bill originally covered apartment sales too but was amended to make it easier to pass.

"We think it will be easier to advance these changes in smaller increments, and the bill was pared down for this reason," says Jonathan Davis. "Assemblymember Rosenthal supports extending the right of bed bug disclosure to prospective home buyers, and we hope to file that provision as a standalone bill.")

Rosenthal also introduced a bill providing a tax credit of up to $750 on the cost of replacing bed bug infested items.  A step in the right direction, but mere chump change for New Yorkers spending (tens of) thousands of dollars on bed bug treatment, none of which is covered by renter’s or homeowner’s insurance.

Related posts:

Bed bug insurance? Apparently not

The neighbors have a right to know about your bed bugs

New clues on spread of bed bugs through apartment buildings 

Bed-bug sniffing dogs: Dont't fall for false positives 

Your neighbor's bed bugs 

Co-op hair-raiser: The $250,000 bed bug bill 



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