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Your Legal Corner - Client Alert Blog

New California Bed Bug Disclosures and Rules For Landlords and Tenants

Written By: Melissa C. Marsh, Esq., California Attorney, January 2017 Add to Favorites

California Assembly Bill 551, codified in California Civil Code §§1942.5, §1954.1 and §1954.600 et. seq., establishes new disclosure requirements, protocols and duties for rental property owners and tenants relating to bed bugs, and prohibits a landlord from retaliating against a tenant who gives notice of a suspected bed bug infestation.

California Landlords Prohibited from Showing, Leasing, and Renting a Rental Unit if Bed Bugs Known to Exist.

Effective January 1, 2017, California Civil Code §1954.602 prohibits a landlord from showing, renting or leasing a rental unit if the landlord knows there are bed bugs. A landlord who has seen bed bugs, even if not confirmed by a pest control company, is deemed to have knowledge that bed bugs exist. A California landlord is also prohibited from renting, or leasing, a vacant rental unit to a prospective tenant if the landlord knows it has a current bed bug infestation. Until the bed bug infestation is confirmed to have been eradicated by a pest control company, a California landlord should refrain from showing and renting a rental unit that either has bed bugs or is adjacent to a unit with bed bugs. Landlord’s beware…turning a blind eye…ignoring a tenant complaint….will impute knowledge on the landlord. If a landlord receives notice of a suspected or actual bed bug infestation, the landlord must reasonably investigate.

Effective January 1, 2017, California Tenants Must Cooperate In The Investigation and Eradication of Bed Bugs.

Under the law, California tenants are required to assist the landlord and the landlord’s pest control company with any requested inspection and/or treatment of bed bugs. Not only must tenants provide any information that would facilitate the detection and treatment of bed bugs in their own units, but they must also allow entry into their rental unit upon service of a proper 24 Hour Notice of Entry for an initial and follow up inspections and treatment of their own unit, but also surrounding units.

The law also appears to require California tenants to obey requests to wash their clothes off the premises, to reduce clutter, and to follow any other reasonable recommendations espoused by the landlord, or the landlord’s pest control company.

New Bed Bug Disclosure Requirements.

Effective July 1, 2017, Civil Code §1954.603 requires that a statutory bed bug notice in at least 10 point type be given to all new tenants on to all existing tenants by January 1, 2018. The bed bug notice must include a specific notice regarding bed bug identification, behavior, and biology as well as the landlord’s and tenant’s obligations in the event a bed bug infestation is discovered. For existing tenants, California landlords are not required to provide the disclosure until January 1, 2018. That said, effectively July 1, 2017 ALL landlords must provide the statutorily required bed bug disclosure to ALL new tenants, and to all tenants if the presence of bed bugs is discovered.

California landlords can obtain our Bed Bug Disclosure Addendum for just $99 and the addendum can be added to your existing lease, or month-to-month rental agreement. For those landlords who are not interested in paying for the disclosure form, the Notice must be in at least 10-point type and must include the following Information About Bed Bugs:

  1. Bed Bug Appearance;
  2. Life Cycle and Reproduction;
  3. Bed Bug Bites;
  4. Common signs and symptoms of a possible Bed Bug infestation;
  5. The procedure the tenant must follow to report a suspected bed bug infestation to the landlord; and
  6. If a pest control company inspects a unit on the landlord’s property for Bed Bugs, California Civil Code §1954.605 requires the landlord to provide written notice to the tenants in the unit inspected and all surrounding rental units of the pest control company’s findings (whether positive or not) within 2 business days; and finally
  7. If a bed bug infestation is confirmed to exist in any of the common areas of the landlord’s property, the landlord must provide ALL tenants with written notice of the pest control company’s findings within 2 business days of its receipt.

California Landlords are Further Prohibited From Showing and Renting a Rental Unit if Bed Bugs Have Been Discovered.

What California landlord’s should do now. Review your leases, create a reasonable protocol for tenant’s to follow in the event a bed bug infestation is suspected, and add the required Bed Bug Notice as an Addendum to your standard lease agreement. You can purchase our Bed Bug Disclosure Addendum for just $99. Within 2 hours of receipt of payment, we will email you a prepared bed bug disclosure addendum to be added top your lease for your rental property in both Word and PDF format.

Posted In: Real Estate Reporter 

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Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site was prepared by Melissa C. Marsh for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information provided in my articles and alerts should not be relied upon, or used as a substitute for professional legal advice from an attorney you retain to advise or represent you. Your use of this Internet site does not create an attorney- client relationship. Transmission of this article is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. All uses of the contents of this site, other than personal uses, are prohibited. You may print or email a copy of any information posted on this web site for your own personal, non-commercial, use, but you may not publish any of the articles or posts on this web site without the Express Written Permission of Melissa C. Marsh.

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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.