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We own a very nice duplex and live in one side ourselves.  We have never had any problems with bedbugs before but recently our tenant of 6 month has complained of having bedbugs.  He wants us to pay the extermination fees.  I don't feel like this is our obligation as it seems from my research that he must have brought them in himself.  Previous renters had no problem with this and the place was thoroughly cleaned before he came, plus he has been there 6 months.  Think he would have noticed this problem right away if they were there.  What do you all think?  Who is financially responsible for this problem?

It should be covered in your lease .  

You are correct in that the tenant brought them in himself. either on his clothes or on furniture he bought, probably used. most folks don't understand how bedbugs spread, but they usually plant themselves on fabric near floors, which is why a lot of times they get on mattresses or box springs on the ground. there are some non-exterminator remedies, like the powders, but you must do ALL the cleaning: remove all linens and wash super hot, bag up all clothes until cleaned then keep bagged up, get all furniture off the ground, etc, etc. it is a pain for sure. 

in the future im sure you will address it in your lease (and pre-inspection the tenant signs acknowledging there are no known issues). but for now the two of you need to agree to probably split the costs and do the work-if the tenant is worth keeping. if not, boot his *** for stankin up the place and get cleaning. 

Get a pro exterminator in there and bill tenant for the expense. You don't want to waste time with home remedies and bugs possibly spreading to your side. It takes at least two visits to kill a couple of generations of unhatched eggs. Good luck.

If it's not in your lease that tenant is responsible for pest control, the burden may be on you as landlord to keep it pest free unless you can prove they are creating the problem.  Read your landlord/tenant law as it may clarify.  I have detached single family rentals, and it's in lease that tenant acknowledges they are receiving unit in clean condition with all systems operational and no sign of pests, mold or mildew.  It states specifically that they are responsible for pest control. 

We had a problem with bed bugs once.  The tenants bought a chair from a second hand store.  Unfortunately I had a brother and sister living back to back in two of my units and the chair ended up in both units infesting both. No other tenants in the complex had any problems so we knew it was coming from those two units.  I would have an exterminator in imidiately or they will find there way into your unit too. Don't try to remedy yourself go professional and charge your tenant. Bedbugs don't just randomly show up. Your tenant brought them in on something.  It cost us just over $2000 to remediate and tenants made payments to me until paid in full.  We found out it was the chair because the company we hired to resolve problem determined it.

@ Deborah Palmer - lots of good advice here. Get a professional to inspect. In many cases they can help determine whether the tenant brought them in or not. After 6 months, I strongly suspect that the tenant brought BB in on some furniture or clothing, or their friends brought them in. A new tenant in a rental with BB will complain within the first month AND there will be little evidence of BB on their furniture. On the other hand, a tenant that moves in with BB will have a build up of BB, shed skins, and fecal material on their beds and couches - strong evidence that they brought them in.

I don't think it was mentioned yet - you should treat both sides. You may have a problem on your side but don't know it yet.

Good Luck with bugs and tenant.

Yes inspect and treat both sides, BB are huge issue and pest control people love the business. Best method used in our area is HEAT they basically heat up the whole area with a huge piped in blower and heat the units till temp reaches XXX and kills the tricky little blood suckers.

Hard to determine as who brings them in they can lay dormant for long periods. Crawl thru and hide in electrical outlets, under the outlet plates and in just about any electronic device known to man, not just furniture, and clothing.

Usually hard for landlord to defend in court why your not treating for pests. A addendum is great for pest control but even with that tenants have power in courts with claims of damages, and relocation fee's and moving expenses.

No more flea market furniture.. IF you haul out mattresses PUT spray paint on them BED BUGS and other furniture also so it's not moving off the curb to the house next door.

Bag up all your clothes and bedding and camp out at a laundro matt. 

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