The State Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to prohibit landlords from renting units with known bed-bug infestations.
The bill outlines the steps landlords must follow when an infestation is discovered.
Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 240 requires landlords to eradicate any bed bugs discovered within 60 days of initial occupancy. They must have their units inspected for bed bugs within 120 hours of receiving a complaint from a tenant and provide pest management services within 14 days.
Landlords would also be required to inspect adjoining units, notify tenants of the findings and provide remediation where needed.
Written records of previous bed bug infestations, complaints, and remediation efforts would have to be kept for two years.
“This legislation is about tenants’ rights,” said Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Brandywine Hundred. “Landlords must ensure that every unit they rent out is safe and livable for tenants, which includes the guarantee that there are no bed bugs on the premises.”
New Hampshire and Connecticut have similar laws on the books.
The bill will now advance to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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