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Bed Bugs - Landlord/Tenant Obligations

Bed Bug Infestations: Landlord and Tenant Obligations

Landlords are responsible for getting rid of an insect infestation on their properties. If a property has an insect infestation, the landlord must:

> Arrange for proper extermination of the insects as soon as possible.

> Inform the tenants of the problem and what steps the tenants must take (preferably in writing) to allow the exterminators to treat the problem properly.

> Inform tenants if any potentially harmful chemicals will be used to treat the infestation. If tenants have to get rid of personal property because of bed bugs and it can be shown it was the result of the landlords’ negligence in treating the problem, the landlord may be responsible for the tenants’ financial loss. Once a landlord has advised tenants about the steps being taken to exterminate insects, the tenants must follow the directions of the landlord, including:

  •  Launder all bedding, clothing, furniture covers, etc.
  • Vacuum the whole unit thoroughly, including beds, box springs, couches, chairs, stools, etc. Seal and dispose of vacuum bags in an outside garbage container.
  • Ensure all food is kept in the fridge or in sealed, plastic containers and wash all kitchen and bathroom surfaces in hot, soapy water.
  • Remove items from along walls/baseboards; clear shelves and storage areas; and cover the contents and furniture with plastic.
  • Remove pets from premises.
  • Allow four hours after extermination is done to re-enter the unit. Tenants must co-operate with landlords in getting rid of pests and follow the landlords’ directions. Tenants who don’t cooperate may receive written notice to vacate the unit. If tenants do not cooperate fully with the landlord and more pest extermination treatments are required because of it, landlords can file a claim against the tenants for the extra costs.

For more information, contact the Residential Tenancies Branch or visit

Last changed 03/11/2011 - 11:55am by webmaster