UPDATE: Philadelphia’s Bed Bug law went into effect on January 1, 2021. Tenants and Landlords have important responsibilities under the law. Read More
What do I do?
- Tell your landlord right away! Within 5 business days, call, text, email or send a letter.
- Your landlord has to answer you within 5 business days and send a pest management professional out to inspect within 10 business days.
- Let the inspector in during reasonable times.
- If the inspector finds bed bugs, your landlord must then provide written notice to all tenants and hire a pest management professional to do treatment.
- Prepare your home for treatment by following all the instructions carefully. It is a lot of work, but it’s important in order to get rid of bed bugs. Visit PA Integrated Pest Management for more information about bed bug treatment.
Who pays for bed bug treatment?
- Landlord – The landlord must pay the full cost of treatment if:
- You let your landlord know about the bedbugs in the first year of your lease, OR
- You let your landlord know about the bedbugs within 180 days of the discovery of bed bugs in an adjacent unit, OR
- You are a subsidized housing tenant (PHA public housing, Section 8 voucher, etc.)
- In all other cases, the landlord and tenant split the cost 50/50.
What if my Landlord won’t help?
- Send the landlord a letter asking the landlord to investigate or treat for bed bugs. It is best to send an email or letter. See the sample bed bug demand letter.
- File a Complaint with L&I. Call 311 or submit the L&I Bed Bug Complaint form.
- File a Court complaint against the landlord for actual and punitive damages ($2,000), cancellation of rent, and attorneys fees and costs.
Before you move in, your landlord should:
- Tell you in writing if the property had bed bugs in the last 120 days.
- Give you the Health Department’s Bed Bug Information Flyer.
- Have a Bed Bug Control Plan
- If your landlord didn’t do this, you can end your lease without penalty.
For more information, review 9-4800 Responsibilities Concerning Bed Bug Infestation.