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Bed Bugs and Covid-19 - Rent Stabilized in Brooklyn

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Bed Bugs and Covid-19 - Rent Stabilized in Brooklyn

Postby luckyredpr » Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:17 pm

I realized before Christmas (2020) that I have bud bugs. I went searching because a neighbor had decided to move out and told me it was because he had bed bugs. He also told me that the problem has been in the building since 2019. I don't know why the LL didn't inform me then since I could have had my apartment inspected and sealed against them before getting them. Apparently, a few apartments got them over the course of at least a year. Is the LL required to notify tenants of this?

I am at high risk for Covid-19, though not a senior citizen or front line worker. As much as I want to have exterminators treat my apartment, I am not willing to risk my health. I may be able to get the vaccine as early as April 2021. I would like to do everything I can to get rid of them on my own (or at least keep them from multiplying and spreading) an have the apartment treated once I get the vaccine. Do I have the right to wait until then?

I do not allow anyone into my apartment at this time and I limit leaving the apartment to only necessary errands. Can you point me to any NYC or NYS rules, codes and/or regulations that would help me sort this out?

Thank you.
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Re: Bed Bugs and Covid-19 - Rent Stabilized in Brooklyn

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:48 pm

Bed Bugs are not fun. There are many ways to attack them, some work better than others. We have a section on Bed Bugs at http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7468

But you do not have to throw out everything you own. Even if the LL demand you do that, don't.

You don't say when you moved in, and that can be crucial. A lot of good information can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/he ... nants.page

"Notice of Bed Bug Infestation History : New York City Administrative Code § 27-2018.1 , which the Governor signed into law on August 31, 2010, mandates that new residential tenants in New York City be given a one-year bed bug infestation history."

A sample notice is at https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 3/dbbn.pdf

So yes, a LL is required to let you know of any infestation. LLs will often try to tell tenants they must bear the cost. But they are also required to eradicate the critters. You do not have to pay for it.

As far as we know, there is no connection between bed bugs and COVID, other than that having workers in you apartment may present a danger. At a minimum, any worker is required to have a mask (work above the nose) and any other protections.

You can wait as long as you like. You can deal with the BB without telling the LL, if you wish.

I had BB a few years back. Like COVID, you don't know how they get into your place. They might have just attached themselves to a piece of clothing, and that does it.

There are many sites on the web with tips on dealing with BB. Find out where they are ... often mattresses and bedding is where they are found. Look at the seams closely and pull them back. They are tiny. You can attract them using a dry ice concoction .. Google it.

Don't throw clothing out, but was it, all of it, in hot water if you can. Wrap things up in plastic. You can get protectors for mattresses and pillows.

What I did was wait them out. They can take up to ten months to die. I have the luxury of a comfortable chair that reclines, and it's away from the bed, although in the same room. So I slept there for many months. Eventually they all died off.

That may not be quick enough, so consider other methods as well.
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Re: Bed Bugs and Covid-19 - Rent Stabilized in Brooklyn

Postby luckyredpr » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:55 pm

Thank you for your reply and I will try to answer your questions, in case you have additional answers/advice.

I have been a tenant for over ten years, moving in prior to the surge in bed bug infestations and before the LL was required to give new tenants notice.

My concern regarding Covid-19 is that I do not want people I do not know, whose health status I can not confirm, entering my apartment until I am able to get my vaccine. Also, based on the allergic reaction I has when my apartment was treated for bed bugs years ago, I would need to find a safe and affordable place to stay for at least 48 hours. This is why I want to confirm that I have the right to wait. I understand that bed bugs, unlike roaches and mosquitos, do not spread disease and I am doing what I can to eliminate as many of them as possible.

Is the LL required to alert current tenants to bed bug or other infestations in the building? Though my problem did not begin, as far as I know, until we were in the midst of the pandemic, I have found that at least four apartments had problems with bed bugs as early as 2019. Had I known, I could have had my apartment inspected and, at the very least, sealed by the exterminators. This would not have guaranteed that I would not get them later, as I did, but it may have delayed or prevented their spread.

Thank you again.
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Re: Bed Bugs and Covid-19 - Rent Stabilized in Brooklyn

Postby TenantNet » Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:23 pm

I understand and appreciate your concerns. Even though LLs are required to notify tenants, there are no real downsides for failing to do so. You can get a HPD violation, but then they would pressure you to provide access, apparently not what you want.

If you intend to refuse access to the LL or his workers, then you are left to your own devices. It's not fair, but that's the situation.

You don't just get a vaccine (if you can get both doses), and then everything is all right. There are too many unknowns. And for those who had COVID, it appears that antibodies will not prevent reinfection later ... no one really knows, not even the doctors.

I would go to your local store and load up on BB spray (Raid or other brands), and then go on the attack. You might not get them all, but you can make a dent. Also wash everything in hot water if that's possible. Both hot and cold temps will kill them. You can even put things in the freezer. Google bed bugs and many sites have ways you can fight them.

It's not a question whether you have the right to wait; it's about what would happen. Really nothing.
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