Rental Basics in Scottsdale>Question Details

danner.5, Renter in Scottsdale, AZ

In a rental apartment, who pays for the treatment of bed bugs?

Asked by danner.5, Scottsdale, AZ Mon Aug 19, 2013

I have lived in a rented condo for two years. I have been a great tenant. Recently, it was discovered that I had bed bugs in my unit. I contacted the property management group and they said in the State of Arizona, the tenant is responsible. I have not found any document that says this. My lease does not address the issue of bed bugs. What are my rights?

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The Arizona dept of Housing publishes the Arizona Landlord and tenant act that governs the rights and regulations of Landlords and Tenants. This document should have been made available to you at the time of your lease. If not, it can be accessed thru the Dept of Housing

http://www.azhousing.gov/ShowPage.aspx?ID=484&CID=11.

There is also an organization called ATA; Arizona Tenants Advocates in Tempe, Arizona that you can contact for assistance. They have been in operation for about 20 years. The first call is free.

Good Luck.
Judy Blake.
HomeSmart
judy.azmoves@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
Thank you very much for the information. The ALTA document seems to be very vague. I read it and say that the landlord needs to control the bugs and they read the document and say that I need to control the bugs. I have spent my own money at this point to help control the issue, but I cannot afford to continue to tackle this issue on my own. I have tried from the moment to keep the PM up to date on the issues and concerns, but they do not seem to be concerned, nor do they seem to care if I do anything to control the bugs. I really do not want o move, but I cannot continue to live this way. I do not have a signed contract any longer, I am on a month to month. Can I give my 30 day notice and move out? Can they hold by security deposit if I prove that I have tried to treat the bugs myself, which is what they are wanting me to do? I feel pretty helpless at this point.
Flag Tue Aug 20, 2013
Quoted directly from an AZ CENTRAL artivle online: Tenants often are dismayed to discover that Arizona law holds them responsible to prove the problem isn’t their fault.

Renters can face accusations that they brought the bedbugs with them. They also must comply with legally binding rental addendums that require notifying landlords about bedbugs within seven days of moving in to a property. They also are required to give landlords an opportunity to fix the problem.

http://www.azcentral.com/business/call12foraction/articles/2…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Thank you for the reply. What I do not understand that it says in my contract that "routine pest control" is my responsibility...but this is not routine. While I understand that it is my burden to prove how or why they are there, I notified them within hours of suspecting them. They say I need to treat, but there is no indication of what I need to do. I could give my 30 day notice, buy some $10.00 spray at Home Depot and then move on. Doesn't it benefit everyone to work together to control the issue so that it does not get worse? I do not have any money to hire a professional who charges hundreds of dollars to treat this issue. This is anything but routine. What happens when I move out?
Flag Tue Aug 27, 2013
In a situation with the bed bugs entering the picture after two years, you might assume that if you had been in a hotel, timeshare, etc. that you could have picked them up somewhere, perhaps in your luggage. I know it has been a problem with many establishments. However, I cannot remember ever coming up with any determinations on that issue and I think it would be wise to talk to a lawyer to establish what rights either party might have. They would be aware of any court cases on this subject.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
Thank you for the reply. I have tried to be as proactive as I can but the PM does not seem to care. I have contacted a lawyer to see what the law actually states. I know, based on the AZ Landlord/Tenant Act, that a person cannot rent a property again without proving that the bugs are gone. I have run out of money and will not be able to do anything further. I would think that the owner of the property would want the place treated properly, from beginning until the all clear.
Flag Tue Aug 20, 2013
Unfortunately, the proof of burden is on tenants in Arizona to prove the bedbugs weren't caused by them. That could prove difficult for you since the problem didn't appear until two years after you moved in, and many rental addendums require any bedbugs be reported within 7 days of move-in. Are other tenants in your complex also experiencing problems?

AZ Central reported on this problem earlier this summer:
http://www.azcentral.com/business/call12foraction/articles/2…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 20, 2013
No one wants to talk about bed bugs. I do believe that recently the place under me and the place next door may have had an issue. Within the last 4 months, both of these places have replaced their flooring with tile or wood. Could be a coincidence, not sure.
Flag Tue Aug 20, 2013
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