(Albany, NY) Governor Paterson has signed legislation (S8130), sponsored by Senator José Peralta (D-Queens), to protect tenants from unknowingly moving into a property with a history of bed bug infestations. This legislation requires property owners or landlords within New York City to disclose infestation history to potential tenants prior to leasing.
According to the National Pest Management Association, bedbug complaints have increased 50 fold over the last five years, appearing in apartments, mansions and dormitories in nearly every corner of the nation
Ridding an infested apartment of bed bugs is a daunting and very expensive task; because bed bugs can live up to one year without feeding, an apartment seemingly clear could actually remain infested with tenants unaware until long after they move in.
This information will help tenants make an informed decision about renting, and are compelled by the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal to provide it, should they resist upon request.
Senator Peralta, Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee said, “Bedbugs have become an insidious nuisance for renters throughout the state because landlords often times do not disclose infestations. Tenants have the right to know if the apartment or house they are renting was previously occupied by bedbugs. I applaud Governor Paterson for signing this bill; it will go a long way in dealing with this epidemic that’s affecting the entire country."
Senate Democrats also passed legislation (S7316B/Peralta) to prevent bedbug cross-contamination. Because cross-contamination between contaminated used – as well as new – furniture has contributed to the recent rise in bedbug infestation, no used bedding is allowed to be transported, stored or sold with new bedding unless the used bedding has been sanitized by an approved department of health method. The law further clarifies that “new” bedding is bedding that has never been used or returned after purchase.