Bed bug bill passes Judiciary Committee

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A bill that spells out what landlords and tenants need to do when confronted with a bed bug infestation is closer to becoming California law.

Assemblyman Adin Nazarian

Assemblyman Adin Nazarian

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted 7-0 in favor of Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian’s AB 551.

The proposal from the Van Nuys Democrat comes as bed bug infestations continue to spike both in California and across the United States.

Despite the spread of these bloodsucking pests, California law hasn’t adequately defined the role that apartment owners and renters must play in preventing and killing these bugs.

Nazarian’s bill addresses this by offering specifics. And it starts with education and candor.

Under AB 551, landlords must provide tenants with information about bed bug prevention. And tenants can’t knowingly bring items into apartments if they suspect they have bed bugs.

If tenants suspect their apartment is infested, they must tell the landlord, who then must hire a pest control company to check it out. If an infestation is confirmed, the landlord has to notify the tenants and have a pest control operator prepare and implement a bed bug treatment program.

Tenants then have to cooperate with pest control operators and make sure their property isn’t in the way of treatment.

This bill ensures protection for both tenants and landlords who do what they’re supposed to do.

It protects landlords from liability for any delays in treatment that are beyond their control.

AB 551, which now heads to the Assembly floor, strikes a reasonable balance between the needs of landlords and renters.  If enacted, it will help reduce the bed bug population throughout the state.

Audio extra

Listen to testimony about the bed bugs bill.

Related content

Learn more about the fight against bed bugs from the spring edition of Apartment Management Magazine.

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