There have been recent changes and amendments to bed bug laws in California. These recent changes have included better protections for tenants, who were often the victim of bed bug infestation they reported. California bed bug laws were created because bed bug reports have increased in recent years, and many tenants were unfairly evicted from their apartments and homes.
In this article, we will review several of the civil codes that were enacted to better protect tenants from negligent landlords. We’ll learn that tenants have far more rights than they initially suspect, and give you the knowledge to know when your landlord is taking advantage of you. We help break down what each civil code means and how it was made to benefit you.
We also learn about lawsuits regarding bed bugs. For example, can you sue a landlord for bed bug bites? Can you sue a hotel for a bed bug infestation in California? We help you get a better understanding of your rights and what you can do when you experience a bed bug infestation in your unit.
Lastly, we take a look at the compensation you’re entitled to for suffering bed bug bites. Property damage as well as medical bills all fall under what you may be able to recover for the damages incurred as a result of the bed bug infestation and the bed bug bites.
Bed Bug Civil Codes in California
California state law regarding bed bugs can be tricky to follow. Here are the most recent amendments to bed bug law:
Civil Code §1942.5
– Disallows landlords from retaliating against tenants who give notice of a bed bug infestation. Before this law was passed, tenants were often kicked out of their apartments for notifying the landlord of the bed bug infestation. Landlords did not want to admit their negligence was the cause for bed bugs, and so often filed for eviction, blaming the tenant for the infestation. Under this new law, if a tenant so much as complains about a suspected infestation, the landlord may not file for eviction for any reason – even if the tenant withholds rent – until the matter is cleared up.
Civil Code §1954.602
– Does not give landlords the ability to show, rent, or lease a unit that the landlord knows has bed bugs. Before this law was written, landlords were not responsible for bed bug infestations and could rent apartment to new tenants.
Under this new law, negligence falls to the landlord. This law does not require landlords to inspect for bed bugs, but if they do not and a bed bug infestation exists, the landlord will be considered liable and to have had knowledge of bed bugs in the unit.
Civil Code §1954.603
– Landlords must give a specific bed bug notice to new tenants on and after July 1, 2017. The specificities as to the language under “Information about Bed Bug Laws” and in at least a 10-point font. Before this law was passed, landlords didn’t have to notify their tenants.
– Additionally, landlords must notify their tenants about the proper procedure for reporting bed bug infestations to them.
The procedure has to spell out the landlord obligations as well as the tenant obligations. Meaning that the proper procedure should be as detailed as possible to make it as transparent as possible for all parties involved.
If your landlord has not given you the necessary notice, then they are in violation of the law.
Civil Code §1954.604
– After a tenant reports the suspected bed bug infestation, the landlord must hire an inspector to confirm or deny the report. The new civil code requires that landlords notify tenants within two business days of the inspector’s findings. If the infection has spread to common areas, then the landlord must provide the notice to all tenants, even if the source of the outbreak is not located in the common area.
– This means that landlords provide the actual reports and findings that the inspector found, rather than have the landlord interpret the findings and possibly lead to misunderstandings.
– Additionally, pest control is usually dealt with chemicals. Landlords must notify their tenants about the chemicals being used for treatment. Tenant allergies must also be dealt with properly.
Sue a Landlord in California for Bed Bugs
Can you sue your landlord in California for bed bugs? The answer is yes.
Landlords owe a duty of care to all of their tenants, and if they violate or break that duty, they will likely be found liable for that negligence.
Landlords can easily claim that the bed bugs were brought in by the tenant. If this is the case, then your case will likely not be taken seriously as the negligence then falls to you.
Sue a Hotel in California for Bed Bugs
If you experience bed bug bites at a hotel in California, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for your damages.
- If you find bed bugs in your hotel, the first thing you need to do is gather evidence of the infestation. Take pictures of the bed bugs in your hotel room’s mattress, sofa, carpet, etc. If you do not collect the necessary evidence, then there will hardly be anything to prove that you suffered bed bug bites in the hotel room. Check the national bedbug registry to see if the hotel has had a past with bed bugs.
- You’ll next want to get the necessary medical treatment. The severity of bed bug bites often depends on the person’s immune system’s response. Some people may not notice the bites at all as their immune system represses any reaction, while other immune responses can be very violent in nature. Bed bug bites can leave red painful sores near the areas of the bites. The most severe bed bug bites can leave scarring on the victim.
If you seek and receive the right medical treatment, it will create a record that will strengthen your case. The worse the bed bites, and more treatment you receive, the greater potential for compensation you may get for your case settlement.
- After you get your medical treatment, it’s imperative that you call the health department. They will send an agent to the room to investigate your complaint, and they will thoroughly search the room. It is important that you ask for a copy of their report. This copy will bolster your lawsuit and give your case the necessary strength to prove that you were attacked by bed bugs.
- Notify the hotel managerial staff. The reason we put advising the hotel managerial staff this far down the list is because hotel managers are very likely to eradicate the bed bugs, thus giving the health inspector nothing to find. When you report the infestation to the hotel managerial staff, be sure to ask for the names of the people involved in cleaning your room last.
- Legal advice. Hotel bed bug lawsuits can be very difficult for courts to rule over. Hotels can very well say they could not know about the infestation because not enough time was given to inspect all rooms in a timely, reasonable fashion. Without the right legal team, you won’t be able to prove that the hotel acted negligently and allowed for the infestation to take place.
Statute of Limitations for a Bed Bug Case in California
The statute of limitations is the lawsuit’s expiration date. You have until the statute of limitations expires to file a lawsuit and recover compensation. If you pass the statute, then a judge is very likely to throw away the case. All crimes except a few, like murder, have statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for bed bugs injuries is two years from the date of the injury. As we mentioned previously, however, not everyone notices their bed bug bites. If you don’t immediately notice your bed bug bites, you can file for an extension. If the delay of the discovery was reasonable, then you have one year to file the claim from when you noticed your bed bug bites.
Compensation for Bed Bug Damages
When bed bugs strike, that which they crawled on is usually incinerated to ensure that all the bed bugs have died. Just one bed bug can lay tens of eggs per day, and will repopulate a room before you know it.
Your property is often destroyed and if you sought medical treatment, your medical bills will be incredibly high in the United States. If your legal team is experienced, they will make sure that you recover much of your losses.
Property Damage: Things like mattresses, sofas, clothing, suitcases, and more can be costly to lose. And having to replace them can be a heavy financial burden to all involved. A good legal team will help you recover those lost items.
Medical Bills: Medical bills in the United States are higher than in any first-world country. That means that even a simple doctor’s visit will end up costing you a lot of money. If you get specialized treatment, your medical bill is likely to be exponentially higher. You can get compensation for your medical bills with the right legal team.
Bed Bug Legal Group
Our group of California bed bug injury lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call today to receive free legal consultation and free second opinions. We offer many promotions to our clients so that they don’t have to worry about finances while their case is active. If you experienced bed bug bites, and want to know the bed bugs laws in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, and other cities in California, contact our law firm today.