Renting a business with history of bed bugs.

6 Replies

I have been given the opportunity to lease a business for x amount of time with option to buy. It is an eight unit. The problem is that it has a history of bed bugs. They were found in June 2017. They were treated for where the bugs had been present either alive or had evidence that they inhabited the apartment. They were heat treated and now four months later they are found in a different apartment above which was treated. The landlord is going to treat it again but I have heard bed bugs are awful to get rid of which is making me nervous about agreeing to take over. Do you have any advice as what I should do or run away from the deal? The first few years is where I will be making less of a profit to begin with because of making some basic repairs.

Bed bugs are caused by the tenants (or their friends). If your quality of tenant is low, section 8, you can expect them to repeat every time a tenant drags a piece of furniture in off the street. 

If you want to get rid of the bed bugs you need to get rid of the tenants causing the problem.

I agree.
I have a 9 plex that had bed bugs. I tried to heat treat with the tenants in the unit and it was a waste of money. It seems like the only way to get rid of the bed bugs is to get rid of the bad tenants. Treat the place when it is empty and find better tenants.

Good luck.

How could I get rid of the tenants? I’m not sure if the owner knows who is bringing the bed bugs in but we have a hunch.

I hope you are getting a good deal from the person passing their bed bug units off to you for lease to buy. Is that the reason they want to sell? I would ask the owner to have a professional pest service come in and treat if they have been trying it themselves. 

Seems like this could be a great opportunity to clear the entire building, remove everything, treat it properly, renovate the whole thing, and rent it to new tenants. It’ll be a lot of capital upfront but if you can buy on actual and take into account your renovations it could be great!

It is impossible to know where the bed bugs originated, they are not sanitation related.  The situation needs to be treated professionally and if it is a heavy infestation you will likely need to treat surrounding units or possibly all units. Effective treatment is a collaborative process and tenants need to prepare properly to ensure effective treatment. Not sure about the landlord tenant laws in your state but If a tenant is on a lease you have to abide by lease terms which typically does not allow you to kick them out due to ownership change or bedbugs. If the deal makes sense for you financially and location is good, those are key in the decision. Cleaning house and getting your own tenants may also be in order down the road. 

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