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Along with launching its online informational bed bug "portal" yesterday, NYC announced some welcome new disclosure and treatment rules for building owners, effective immediately.
To drill down into exactly what the new rules do--and don't--mean for apartment dwellers, we reached out to the office of City Council Member Gale Brewer, a major force behind the latest regs as well as the city's ongoing war against bed bugs:
What the rules do:
- According to Brewer's office, the rules apply to co-op and condo boards as well as landlords.
- When only one apartment is infested, landlords, co-op and condo boards must inspect and, if necessary, treat apartments directly above, below, or to the side of the infested one.
- In addition, when more than one apartment is infested, landlords and boards must also notify other residents that the bed bugs have arrived, and distribute a building-wide pest management plan to bring the infestation under control. (This nearly closes a big loophole in last summer's regulation requiring landlords and co-op boards to tell prospective but not current residents whether bed bugs have been found in the building in the past year, and if so, on what floor.)
What they don't do:
- Despite evidence that bed bugs can and do migrate across the hall, there's no requirement to inspect and, if necessary, treat apartments across the hallway.
- Current (versus prospective) residents still don't have a right to learn if a single unit in a building is infested.