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WSImarin

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

My new tenant moved in to my rental condo unit in San Bruno CA, a few miles south of San Francisco, with an 18-month lease, after I extensively remodeled with new cabinetry, new carpet, and other upgrades. Almost immediately she reported bedbugs. The previous tenant had not mentioned or complained about bedbugs. I gave her rent credit for the time she could not be in her unit while the exterminators worked. A week or two after she returned, she reported more bedbugs. Again, the exterminators came, and said that sometimes it takes a repeat treatment to completely eradicate them. Several months have gone by without any further problems. Then recently while the dishwasher was being replaced, she saw two dead bedbugs in the space under the dishwasher. When asked, she admitted she has not seen any live bedbugs. Now suddenly she wants to break her lease and move out, leaving all her belongings except her TV and some kitchen utensils. Plus she is demanding I reimburse her $5000 for her belongings. The exterminator himself has declared that all bedbugs are gone, from the unit, and her possessions, or they would have reappeared by now. I know this sounds preposterous, but my property manager is concerned about a legal case, in which the tenant might be able to sue for tens of thousands more, and that judges in the SF Bay Area always side with the tenant. I know I need to hire an attorney, but in the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions, or ideas about what my options are, and her chances of a successful lawsuit (pain, suffering, blah blah blah…)? Thanks for any feedback!

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,714
Reply with quote  #2 
I would point out to your attorney that months have gone by without any sign of bugs. She has made no further requests for extermination nor complaints/sightings. Obviously, she has not been bitten in that period or she would have reported it to you. In fact, the only bugs that have been seen are a few dead ones in a remote, out of the way area that could not be cleaned until now. The fact that those bugs are dead in such a remote area is proof that extermination has worked.

I would also tell her this. Refuse to allow her to terminate. You have taken due diligence to treat and remove the problem in a prompt manner, and you gave her credit for the period she was unable to live there. You've done everything right. If she insists of vacating and leaving g everything, deduct disposal costs from her deposit along with unpaid rent until rerented.
WSImarin

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for the helpful reply. Fortunately the tenant vacated and removed her belongings without further incident. Since I had liability insurance, my insurance company opened a claim and interviewed the property manager and myself. We all decided that since she vacated, it was best not to let on that we had insurance coverage (deep pockets) and made no further contact with the tenant. We let the matter rest unless she reappears later with a claim. So far, crickets. The little game is likely in the past now. A relief yes, but still somewhat frustrating what we all had to go through unnecessarily. Again, OHlandlord, thank you very much for your reply. The information may very well come in handy in a future similar situation.
BritneyR

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Posts: 221
Reply with quote  #4 

I agree with OHlandlord, you have done everything that was in your hand to resolve the issue. Good luck for whatever happens in future. 


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