New bill would force landlords to disclose bedbug infestations

Posted On Tue, April 25, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, April 25, 2017 By In Policy

Whether you want to know or not, NYC landlords may soon be required to tell you of any past or current bedbug infestations in your building when you sign or renew a lease. As reported by the NY Post, a new city council bill would force landlords to file infestation histories with the Department of Housing and Preservation Development and to either publicly post them in the buildings or distribute them to tenants. The agency would also require all histories to be posted on their website.

Bedbug Chart, NYC, tenants
Bug comparison chart via NYC Health Department

Under current state law, landlords must inform tenants upon signing a new lease about the building’s bedbug history. The new bill would enforce that, plus make it mandatory to share infestation histories with tenants when renewing their lease. The bill, expected to be approved today, is sponsored by Queens Councilman Danny Drom who originally introduced it two years ago after receiving complaints from constituents.

“What we were finding out was that a number of the people were on renewal leases,” Drom said. “So what we wanted to do was to fix it so that those who have renewal leases could also find out whether there were bedbugs in their building.”

Critics of new landlord requirement say the new bill would cause unnecessary apprehension for tenants. Joseph Strasburg, the president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents property owners, told the Post that the legislation “will needlessly alarm tenants that would otherwise not have to be concerned or be worried about infestation in their building.” He called the bill: “regulation overkill.”

[Via NY Post]

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