New Bed Bug Notification Laws

bed bugsAs you may have heard, there is a new state law for bed bugs (Civil Code Sec. 1954.603) that requires giving notice to both new and existing tenants. Prospective tenants must be given the notice by this July 1, and existing tenants must be given the notice by January 2018.

While the bed bug addendum has been part of Lingsch Realty’s lease for years, if you are a Lingsch Realty monthly property management client, we have forwarded the new disclosure to all your tenants. If you are not a Lingsch Realty property management client, we recommend you send out the disclosures as soon as possible. Moving forward, the new disclosure will be part of all our leases.

San Francisco already has detailed regulations regarding bed bugs. This can be found on the SF Department of Public Health website. The DPH regulations are in many ways more strict than state law.

I recommend you read the DPH regulations (if you haven’t done so recently), since they specify both the “landlord’s obligations” and the “tenant’s obligations” regarding bed bugs. Some of the requirements are very onerous (like giving the tenants notice of the type of chemicals used to treat, or providing the tenants with plastic bags for infested items). Do not assume your pest control vendor is providing all the necessary materials and information. Please check with them to make sure you are filling in any gaps in compliance yourself or by working with the vendor.

The new state law also imposes various obligations on the landlord, including that a landlord may not knowingly show or rent a bed bug infested apartment to a tenant, and is responsible for removing any cracks or other defects that might allow bedbugs to migrate from one rental unit to another. And while the new law says it is not requiring landlords to inspect units and their buildings, if a bed bug infestation could be determined by an inspection, the landlord will be deemed to have notice of the infestation.

I recommend putting a bed bug detector in each vacant apartment so you can take care of the problem before any tenants move in.

Please let me know if you have any questions on complying with this new ordinance.

Happy Landlording!

Natalie M. Drees

Broker/Owner, Lingsch Realty

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