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My unit is infested with bed bugs and the landlord does not want to take responsibility to exterminate them. What are my rights?

The world has seen an explosion in bedbug infestations in the past few years. Renters in multifamily dwellings are especially susceptible. If you have a bedbug infestation and your landlord is giving you the runaround, here are your rights: Per Florida Law, landlords are responsible for exterminating vermin, including bedbugs. If tenants are required to vacate the premises during treatment, the landlord is not responsible for damages but cannot charge rent. If your landlord is unresponsive, send him an email, a letter, and follow up with a phone call explaining the situation and his responsibilities. Document any communication the two of you have, including dates and times of phone calls. If he remains unresponsive, you may want to contact a lawyer or file a housing code complaint with your local agency. If an inspector does agree to come by, clean up beforehand but make sure the bedbugs are still visible. Encourage your neighbors to make similar appointments to show that it is a widespread issue. Again, document all communication, including names and contact information. This will make your case stronger if it goes forward and lawyers get involved. If you can prove you did everything you could, it will go much smoother. Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help you navigate this process and make the most of a difficult situation. Contact him at 866-200-4646. This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.