The Colorado Governor signed HB19-1328, a new bed bug law (effective January 1, 2020) which requires a tenant promptly notify the landlord via written or electronic notice when the tenant knows or reasonably suspects that the tenant’s dwelling unit contains bed bugs. For more info, read on....
The new law requires that not more than 96 hours after receiving notice, a landlord in most circumstances must hire a pest management professional to inspect and treat the dwelling unit and any contiguous dwelling units for bed bugs. Except as otherwise provided, a landlord is responsible for all costs associated with mitigating bed bugs.
The provisions in the measure are:
- A tenant who gives a landlord electronic notice of a condition must now send such notice only to the email address, telephone number, or electronic portal specified by the landlord in the rental agreement for communications. In the absence of such a provision in the rental agreement, the tenant shall communicate with the landlord in a manner that the landlord has previously used to communicate with the tenant. The tenant shall retain sufficient proof of the delivery of the electronic notice.
- Not more than 96 hours after receiving notice of the presence or possible presence of bed bugs, a landlord (a) must inspect or obtain an inspection by a qualified inspector of the dwelling unit, and (b) may enter the unit or any contiguous unit for the purpose of conducting the inspection.
- If the inspection of a dwelling unit confirms the presence of bed bugs, the landlord is also then under obligation to perform an inspection of all contiguous dwelling units as promptly as is reasonably practical.
- Except as otherwise provided, a landlord is responsible for all costs associated with inspection for, and treatment of, the presence of bed bugs.
- If a landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent must enter a dwelling unit for the purpose of conducting an inspection for, or treating the presence of, bed bugs, the landlord shall provide the tenant reasonable written or electronic notice of such fact before the landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent attempts to enter the dwelling unit. A tenant who receives the notice shall not unreasonably deny the landlord, qualified inspector, or pest control agent access to the dwelling unit.
- A tenant shall comply with reasonable measures to permit the inspection for, and treatment of, the presence of bed bugs, and the tenant is responsible for all costs associated with preparing the tenant’s dwelling unit for inspection and treatment. A tenant who knowingly and unreasonably fails to comply with inspection and treatment requirements is liable for the cost of subsequent bed-bug treatments of the dwelling unit and contiguous units if the need for the treatments arises from the tenant’s noncompliance.
- If any furniture, clothing, equipment, or personal property belonging to a tenant is found to contain bed bugs, the qualified inspector shall advise the tenant that the furniture, clothing, equipment, or personal property should not be removed from the dwelling unit until a pest-control agent determines that a bed-bug treatment has been completed. The tenant shall not dispose of personal property that was determined to contain bed bugs in any common area where such disposal may risk the infestation of other dwelling units.
Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color. Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime. Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.
Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.
Where Bed Bugs Hide
Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.
Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.
Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.
Questions, please contact me!