Bed Bugs in a Detroit Rental - Who is responsible ?

5 Replies

Just reaching out to all the more experienced landlords out there- One of my Detroit tenants has submitted a complaint of bed bug infestation in all her furniture.

In your opinion,- is this the owners responsibility. Are we required to handle this by a city by-law or other law ?

My PM is informing me that I have to foot the bill- but it sounds kind of strange as the furniture is not mine. 

Any help or shared experience really appreciated.

Need some more information, is this a SFH or a Mutli? Does your lease state anything about bedbugs in it? Are they on state subsidies housing?

If the lease says they have to pay, they are not on subsidies and it is a SFH then you should be able to get them to pay for it. Any other circumstance the best case scenario is you are going to split the bill. Make sure they throw everything they own away and have them sign something that they will pay for all reoccurring infestations. If they won't sign it try to get out of the lease because they are going to keep some piece of furniture and you will have another outbreak.

Tighten up your lease. (This should be covered in your property manager's lease.) There should be a clause covering insect infestations in it stating that if nothing is reported within the first couple weeks of the tenant moving in the tenant is responsible for the extermination. This is not a City law but you will probably not prevail in a Detroit courtroom unless you can prove that you exterminated and the house was free of bedbugs when the tenant moved in.

@Richard Ball

It is a SFH and they are not on subsidies. But I think it is not going to be simple to get them to foot the bill. I am going take your advice and treat the home on condition that they take responsibility for any re occurrence.

@Jeff Rabinowitz - had a look at the lease- you are right - no mention of bug infestation. Will tighten up for next time.

Thanks both for the advice.