A bedbug infestation is the last thing that anyone wants. On top of being difficult to successfully eradicate, bedbugs are also notorious for their ability to spread from apartment to apartment. This is why it is imperative that landlords work with tenants to eliminate the problem as quickly as possible. Local Law 69 of 2017, which went into effect in November of 2017, encourages landlords to take proactive steps to ensure that infestations are handled as quickly as possible to stem the spread of these devious pests.
However, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the law, it’s worth mentioning something that Rachel Owrutsky of @Global Pest Control mentioned at last week’s LNY Meet-Up on the law. Tenants are often embarrassed when they get bedbugs. This can sometimes lead them to try to solve the problem without letting anyone know. Consequently, they may attempt to deal with the infestation by using products that they purchase themselves. This can have disastrous results. These products don’t fully eradicate the colony. They either weaken it or cause the pests to flee into adjacent units.
To eliminate the stigma of bedbugs, try to let your tenants know that anyone can get them. They are extremely opportunistic parasites. They have been found in court rooms, police stations, five-star hotels, buses, and even airplanes. If one of your tenant happens to be unlucky enough to be in a place that has a bedbug infestation, they run the risk of taking one home with them. Post fliers, send emails, do whatever you can to let your tenants know that no one will think lesser of them if they get bedbugs. It happens. By hiding their problem, they only will make matters worse for themselves and their fellow tenants.
Another way to prevent the spread of bedbugs is to have a comprehensive pest management plan overseen by a pest management specialist like Global Pest Control.
And now on to the law.
Local Law 69 stipulates that all owners are now required to create a report containing the bedbug infestation history from tenants or unit owners, including whether eradication measures were used. “In addition, owners will be required to report bedbug infestation information for each dwelling unit to HPD on an electronic form, and to then post the form in a prominent building location or provide a copy of the form to each tenant with the tenant’s vacancy and renewal leases.” You will need to upload the information that you collect from November 2017 through November 2018 to HPDONLINE in December 2018. This process will have to be repeated each subsequent year.
You will need to report the following information:
- The address of your building;
- The number of units in your building;
- The number of units, as reported or otherwise known, that had a bedbug infestation during the year;
- The number of units in which eradication measures were taken during the year;
- The number of units that had a bedbug infestation after eradication measures were taken.