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Chronic Bed Bug Infestation

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Chronic Bed Bug Infestation

Postby desperateinbrooklyn9 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:41 pm

Our building has gone through 9 major bed bug infestations in the last 7 years and the landlord hasn't even answered our complaints. I can’t imagine anyone relying on incompetent 311 inspectors to detect bed bugs, and as for HP actions we couldn’t even get our bathroom pipes fixed after a year in court. The landlord now sits on a mountain of unanswered certified mail over this issue, the uninhabitability of the apartment de damned. Can he win a lawsuit against us for hiring an exterminator and deducting the cost from the rent? What are our rights regarding any health problems resulting from exposure to bed bug chemicals? I'm speaking solely for my wife and myself - unfortunately, the building's tenants are afraid to come forward as a group due to immigration issues and such.
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Re: Chronic Bed Bug Infestation

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:14 pm

Sorry to hear about your problems. I've had bedbugs myself and I know how horrible the experience is. In my case I starved them by sleeping in a different room. After 10-12 months, they are gone. I do not know how effective extermination is. But I do know you do not have to dispose of all your possessions.

I filed a HP action a few years back (not the bedbugs) and was somewhat lucky in getting repairs. It's a combination of the getting a good judge, how involved HPD is and whether the LL is super-litigious.

When I called 311 about bedbugs, I was lucky. They actually have a dog that sniffs out bedbugs.

As for the cost of extermination, you need to document that a) the problem exists, b) you notified the LL, c) the LL ignored your complaints, and d) the cost of the exterminator.

You are referring to "repair and deduct." As far as I know, there is nothing in any statute that allows this. But judges do allow it depending on the circumstances. So you need to do your homework and be prepared with all sorts of documentation.

As to chemical exposure, I don't have the expertise to answer that.

I do understand the reluctance due to immigration issues. Not much you can do about that.
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