New bed bug rules target landlords

It’s more cost-effective for landlords to treat bed bugs early, before they spread, owner advocates say.

Landlords will now have to pay even more when tenants spot blood-sucking bugs in their beds.

New rules, issued yesterday by the Department of Housing and the Department of Health, require landlords spray apartments above, below and next to units infected with bed bugs.

Landlord Jim Silber, who owns a Manhattan building, isn’t pleased he’ll now have to fork over more money.

“It sounds like it’s going to be very onerous,” he said. “This is all of a  sudden something that’s being thrown into the lap of the landlord.”

Only one resident of his has ever reported bed bugs, he said — found in a rug bought at Pottery Barn.

“The problem is, the landlord isn’t the one who brings the bed bugs into the building,” he said. “It’s the tenant that brings it in.”

Owners will be fined if they don’t comply.

Landlords’ new expenses could even trickle down to renters, warned Hermantide Guitea, who advises landlords at ARPA Property Owners Association in Brooklyn.

Without a lease or rent control, landlords could try to increase rent.


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