Whose Problem Are Bed Bugs?

The other day I got a call from a local Minneapolis duplex owner asking whose responsibility it was to get rid of bed bugs in a unit.

It was a good question. After all, if the tenant brought them in, shouldn’t they have to pay to get rid of them?

Most of the time, no.

Minnesota law requires housing providers to provide for property maintenance unless the damage was caused by malicious, willful or irresponsible behavior of the resident. In the city of Minneapolis, it is also a housing code violation to have bed bugs in a rental unit.

I’m no attorney, but I think it would be tough to prove anybody on the planet went out into the world and deliberately tried to bring home bedbugs.

Bedbugs are tough to get rid of. The longer you delay taking care of the problem, the harder it is to get rid of them. They hide in all parts of the bed, in electrical outlets, on carpets, furniture, and baseboards. They will even hide in art on the wall!

To rid your property of bedbugs, a housing provider should hire an exterminator to treat the problem.

It may also be wise to caution residents against picking up free furniture, or buying used furniture without thoroughly inspecting it before brining it in the house.