BED BUGS IN ONE OF THE UNITS IN A DUPLEX

21 Replies

Tenants broke lease earlier, left without leaving forwarding address. We cleaned up the property, found some fleas and dead bedbugs on the belongings left behind ( sorry if I made you itchy ). I know I probably need to call exterminator .The question is do I order inspection of both units or just the empty one. Tenants on the first floor never complained. And the lease states bed bugs is shared tenants responsibility .

Svetlana

@Account Closed  It's hard to prove where bed bugs start, a reason why my company actually has an addendum for it!  It states that the unit was inspected prior to the resident moving in and they initial that it's bed bug free.  Without this addendum to your lease, your out of luck.  If you have an addendum that says it's shared, take it out of their deposit.  Take photos, document everything, if it's gets disputed you need that evidence.  I would treat every unit. I was a housekeeping manager for years and they are no joke, something you don't want to try to fix yourself to save money.  Do your research and hire the best company out there, don't skimp, it will only bite you in the *** (see what I did there).  

Well if the landlord documented the move in condition correctly with the tenant and there was no mention of bedbugs which I doubt there was otherwise the tenants would have complained so I would certainly charge them. 

@Account Closed Bed Bugs are hard to diagnose, many don't know what they are.  A large percentage of people don't even know they have bed bugs because only a small percentage react to the bites, it's very alarming.  I highly recommend having a bed bug addendum or mention of it in your lease.  My previous company had a 9 page lease which I thought was bullet proof.  My new company has a lease that's about 35 pages, it's very eye opening, and I will be utilizing it for my next renter.  There are so many grey areas for landlords, the only way to protect yourself is with a sound proof lease, photos, videos, etc. and even then you may miss something.  A rule of thumb for treating bed bugs is to treat the affected unit, and inspect the unit above, below, on the sides, and across, that's what we did when I managed a hotel.  

Originally posted by @Samantha Klein :

Well if the landlord documented the move in condition correctly with the tenant and there was no mention of bedbugs which I doubt there was otherwise the tenants would have complained so I would certainly charge them. 

 We bought the duplex and the unit was empty for about 5 months prior and 4 months more while we were doing renovation and trying to rent it out. There was no fleas or bugs there as my husband spent a lot of time there doing work himself, he would've noticed something. And no we didn't document anything as it was our first rental and we didn't have a clue .

Thank you for your input, it realy is helpful for the future.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

@Samantha Klein You can do that, and the landlord needed to prove that the tenant brought the bedbugs when they move in.

 It might not happened when they move in, but the husband-tenant spent a lot of time in a hospital, on several occasions. So maybe he got it from there, who knows.

Originally posted by @Mario Bellavia :

@Account Closed Bed Bugs are hard to diagnose, many don't know what they are.  A large percentage of people don't even know they have bed bugs because only a small percentage react to the bites, it's very alarming.  I highly recommend having a bed bug addendum or mention of it in your lease.  My previous company had a 9 page lease which I thought was bullet proof.  My new company has a lease that's about 35 pages, it's very eye opening, and I will be utilizing it for my next renter.  There are so many grey areas for landlords, the only way to protect yourself is with a sound proof lease, photos, videos, etc. and even then you may miss something.  A rule of thumb for treating bed bugs is to treat the affected unit, and inspect the unit above, below, on the sides, and across, that's what we did when I managed a hotel.  

 Thank you, Mario. I will certainly have exterminator report. I did have a contract with both units saying bed bugs was asshared responsibility between tenants. Come to think of it the tenants might even left earlier because of it. Sending me a tearful text that a husband-tenant have cancer that came back for the second time and not being able to pay any longer. I new he was seek and even felt sorry for them until they just left the door open ,keys inside ,mess everywhere + fleas and bed bugs as the "icing on the cake ".

There deposit will never be enough to pay cleaning cost, bugs exterminator, agent fees for rerenting. I don't know their new address to send a security deposit desposition to, which is another question. How do I know they are not going to try to sue me later???

They are both on social security and taking them to court will get me nothing.

Keep the deposit and send a letter with itemized invoices to their last known address aka your rental. Make sure it goes certified mail and when you get it back, do not open it.

@Samantha Klein this! Yes when a renter doesn't provide their forwarding address my management company sends the deposit check back to their last known address, our apartment complex.  When the resident calls for a status update, I kindly let them know that they didn't provide a forwarding address but their check is in our office safe, I can send it to whatever new address they want.  @Account Closed Do they have e-mail accounts that you can reach out to?

Originally posted by @Mario Bellavia :

@Samantha Klein this! Yes when a renter doesn't provide their forwarding address my management company sends the deposit check back to their last known address, our apartment complex.  When the resident calls for a status update, I kindly let them know that they didn't provide a forwarding address but their check is in our office safe, I can send it to whatever new address they want.  @Lana Lee Do they have e-mail accounts that you can reach out to?

 I do have their email. They didn't respond before, when  I was trying to get them sign property surrender document. What do I write them now. Do I send desposition of deposit letter both to email and to proprty address ?

@Account Closed I would address everything in an email, print the e-mail and add it to their file.  E-mail them photos of everything, final account statement with charges, and asking them for their forwarding address so you are covered and there is a record of you attempting to send it. If you have outlook maybe try attaching a send receipt or read receipt, maybe they'll actually click it.

Originally posted by @Lana Lee:

They disconnected the phone. I have no trace of them.

Does anybody have experience with bed bugs problem? I've heard it's costly.

 I just had bed bugs in one of the units at my 4-plex in Tucson. I sprayed both units in that building even though only one had bed bugs. Cost me $290 for both. Not a big deal in my opinion, just one of those things that happens.

Originally posted by @Mario Bellavia :

@Lana Lee I would address everything in an email, print the e-mail and add it to their file.  E-mail them photos of everything, final account statement with charges, and asking them for their forwarding address so you are covered and there is a record of you attempting to send it. If you have outlook maybe try attaching a send receipt or read receipt, maybe they'll actually click it.

 We are not that advanced, we don't have outlook, we have 2 duplexes so far. But in the future as we expand our portfolio, hopefully, will surely try to be more professional and use all the technology.

Such experience as we are having now surely put an emotional tall on us. Immediately thoughts are overwhelming. They whisper in my ear "Why do you need all that?" But then I look at my goal and guys like you who succeeded and those thoughts are not dominating me anymore. 

Thank you BP comunity for caring advices.

Svetlana

Originally posted by @Anthony Gayden :
Originally posted by @Lana Lee:

They disconnected the phone. I have no trace of them.

Does anybody have experience with bed bugs problem? I've heard it's costly.

 I just had bed bugs in one of the units at my 4-plex in Tucson. I sprayed both units in that building even though only one had bed bugs. Cost me $290 for both. Not a big deal in my opinion, just one of those things that happens.

 Thank you Anthony. May I ask which product did you use? And was it successful ?

@Account Closed I would set a side a Capex budget, when these items come up it won't be as devastating. Keep at it, everyone gets a bad tenant, don't loose heart over it. I would partner with a good attorney that represents landlords. Ensure you have a bullet proof lease, read it, review it, add to it. Every new lease I have my tenant sign is updated, I'm constantly learning and each item added to my lease protects me further. Start a vendor list, I have what looks like a baseball card binder with business cards. Shop around for the best exterminator, read reviews, ask what products they use. Research bed bugs, what is the best solution. Hot heat, steam, and 91% Isopropyl Alcohol will kill them. It's something I highly recommend professionals treat. You want to have a record that it was treated and hold them accountable if it isn't. Many companies use items that only irritate bed bugs and spread them. Don't waste your time with dog sniffing companies.

How much do you pay your lawer for a copy of new contract .Or do you have an option of using online template that you can fill out and modify?