Bed bugs can be a severe problem in residential housing that is not properly cleaned in between tenants moving in. Landlords may neglect their duties and do the bare minimum to clean an apartment complex when it becomes vacant; their reasoning is that the new inhabitants will just make it all dirty again or they will clean it themselves to make sure it is up to their standards. This is an example of negligence; all landlords and property owners must adequately clean their property to prevent injuries and infestations from happening when customers or tenants enter the premises. In the state of Texas, laws dictate that there are certain responsibilities that fall on both tenants and landlords alike, depending on various agreements. One point rules over everything, though: bed bugs are a public health nuisance and must be taken care of by one party or the other. Our lawyers at the Bed Bug Legal Team know that people may get confused over how to move forward with a bed bug lawsuit, and we are here to help. Our clients often call us with questions about what to do in the event of a bed bug infestation. Some of the questions they ask include:
- What are some Texas bed bug infestation laws?
- What are apartment building bed bug laws in Texas?
- How can I file a bed bug lawsuit in Texas?
Specific Bed Bug Laws in Texas
Residential housing bed bug laws in Texas require that landlords remove bed bugs as soon as the landlord becomes aware of their existence on the property. The landlord must act in a timely manner in removing the bed bugs; if there is hesitation or a refusal to do so, a tenant can sue the landlord. The longer the infestation stays around, the more potential violations the landlord faces, as each new day is another strike. However, this is only true if the tenant did not sign any agreements on the lease that pertain directly to the presence of bed bugs.
For example, if the landlord and tenant both inspected the apartment prior to the agreed-upon move in date and found there to be no bed bugs on the premises, there may have been an addendum placed in the lease that stipulates the tenant to be responsible for anything discovered afterward. This is because after the tenant moves in, it can be extremely difficult to locate the source of the bed bugs – they may have been hiding somewhere in the house and were not found by the landlord, or they may have been brought in on a suitcase from the tenant.
Importantly, because this is a public health issue in Texas, there is a responsibility from the tenant to report any instance of bed bugs to the landlord. If he does not do so, it may be considered a breach of contract, and the landlord can possibly evict the tenant.
In essence, all landlords and property owners must provide a safe, healthy, sanitary space for those who use their properties. They must take steps to ensure their dwellings will not cause any harm to those inside, and the presence of bed bugs may be enough to warrant legal action. Hotel bed bug laws do not differ; hotel owners and management must make sure their rooms for rent are clean for customers.
For more information on bed bug laws in residential housing in TX, call one of our attorneys at the Bed Bug Legal Team today.
What You Can Earn in a Lawsuit
If you choose to pursue legal action against a landlord or hotel owner for a bed bug infestation, you should be aware of what steps you have to take as well as the types of compensation you can earn. The first step is in proving negligence; an attorney can help you prove the four points of negligence required for a personal injury lawsuit.
- A duty of care existed. The landlord or hotel owner had a duty to protect you while you were in their quarters. You were to be kept safe and healthy and not exposed to anything that could cause you harm.
- The duty of care was breached. The presence of bed bugs indicates a breach in that duty. This may have occurred because of inadequate cleaning or because the landlord did not inspect the premises to the best of his ability.
- The breach resulted in an accident or incident. By not properly maintaining the property, a bed bug infestation could have arisen, leading to other incidents in your life (such as spreading them to other places, including your job and the houses of your friends and relatives).
- The accident caused physical harm. Bed bug bites can be frustrating to deal with and they can cause medical complications. In addition, the pests themselves can infest other parts of the home and require you to temporarily relocate or purchase new furnishings.
After your attorney helps you prove these four points, you will be on your way to fighting for a settlement. It is important that you have records of everything that occurs during this period; there is no such thing as too little evidence. You should have photographs of the bed bugs themselves, their nests, and any signs of them, including exoskeletons, droppings, and eggs; pictures of your bites; receipts for your property; a copy of your lease that details anything related to bed bugs; and receipts from any exterminators or fumigators who will clean your home. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the agreements in your lease, your landlord may be liable for all of these damages. They can include:
- Medical Coverage: Any medical treatment you received as a result of the bed bug bites can be covered. Further, if the bites will force you to undergo treatments in the future, such as to combat an infection or disease, those can be covered as well.
- Property Damage: Your furnishings and belongings that were lost or damaged in the incident can have their monetary values reimbursed.
- Lost Wages: You may be forced to miss work because of the bed bug infestation in your apartment. A lawsuit can help you recover lost earnings from the days you were absent, from both the past and the future.
- Pain and Suffering: Any emotional or mental damages that arose from the infestation can be doled out as well. These damages include psychological trauma, PTSD, fear, anxiety, and more.
With the help of an experienced attorney at the Bed Bug Legal Team, you can be sure to receive the fairest compensation for your bed bug lawsuit.
Bed Bug Legal Team: Here to Help
Our law firm is the premier legal group for any bed bug infestation lawsuits. We have handled numerous cases throughout the years and our attorneys are experienced in netting our clients ample compensation. We are well versed with bed bug bite laws in Texas and know when the law is on your side. If you select us for your case, we will aggressively work to bring you the restitution you deserve.
Call us today for a free legal consultation with an accomplished lawyer to discuss your lawsuit. We can help you sue your landlord for bed bugs if need be. All consultations are totally confidential and you can rest assured that any questions you ask us will stay within our walls. You should not be afraid to get more information about the laws regarding bed bugs in Texas and what you can do to file a lawsuit.
By choosing us to represent you, you also receive a zero fee guarantee on your claim. This promises that you will not have to pay any money throughout the litigation process for our services. Our payment only comes if we win your case, and it is taken out of the settlement we earn for you. If we lose, you do not owe us a cent. We do this to ensure that your financial integrity is kept intact.
Contact the Bed Bug Legal Team today for more help filing a bed bug lawsuit. We practice all around the state of Texas, including in cities such as Austin, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Dallas, and Fort Worth.