Nobody ever wants to deal with the nightmare of having bed bugs in their home. Bed bugs can come out of nowhere and it’s often difficult to pinpoint their source. However, in California, landlords can sue tenants who bring bed bugs onto their properties. That is, if they are able to prove the tenant was the actual cause of the bed bug infestation.
So, what does a landlord have to prove to win a case against a tenant who brings bed bugs to their property? In California, the landlord must prove all of the following facts:
1. The opposing party was the landlord’s tenant
2. The opposing party negligently brought bedbugs onto the property owned or controlled by the landlord
3. The opposing party’s negligence was the cause of the bedbugs
4. That, as a result of the opposing party’s negligence, the landlord suffered damages.
The opposing party was the landlord’s tenant
A landlord must be able to prove that the person they are bringing a lawsuit against was an actual tenant who resides on property owned or controlled by the landlord.
The opposing party negligently brought bedbugs onto the property owned or controlled by the landlord
A landlord must be able to prove that if the tenant brought the bedbugs onto the property they did so in a negligent manner.
The opposing party’s negligence was the cause of the bedbugs
A landlord must be able to prove that it was more likely than not the tenant was the actual cause of the bed bug infestation with evidence. This is usually the most difficult fact for the landlord to prove.
That, as a result of the opposing party’s negligence, the landlord suffered damages
Lastly, a landlord must be able to prove the bedbug infestation caused the landlord damages.
Tenants Bed Bug Rights
Don’t worry! Tenants have a few rights when it comes to bed bugs, too. Under California Civil Code section 1954.603, landlords are required to give prospective tenants information on bed bug identification and control, including how tenants can report bed bugs to landlords.
The law also makes it illegal for landlords to show prospective tenants that has an active bed bug infestation. Landlords also must share their findings from pest investigations to tenants within two days.
If you are dealing with bed bugs and legal issues have surfaced, it’s imperative to talk through your case with an experienced attorney.
Our personal injury attorney’s know what rights you have as a landlord or tenant when it comes to dealing with bed bugs. Please reach out to Hariri Law Group today to discuss your situation!