Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Avoiding Bed Bug Lawsuits

In 2003 a motel chain was successfully sued for 382,000 dollars because of bed bugs. It can happen and if you Google bed bug lawsuits you will see that there are a whole lot more out there. SO how can you decrease your chances of being sued if you are a landlord or a motel/hotel manager?
  1. Train your employees on what to look for if it is brought to your attention that there are bed bugs in a unit. If your housekeeping or maintenance staff knows what to look for it will be better is you are proactive instead of reactive.
  2. Don't take a complaint from a tenant or guest lightly. Treat it with urgency and attention.
  3. Being proactive is important. Use mattress covers on your mattresses and box springs if you have a hotel/motel and maybe send out a flier to your tenants in an apartment building educating them on what to look for with regards to bed bugs and bed bug bites. It may spark a mass hysteria and you will need to inspect and investigate all calls, but at least you will be able to cross off the false alarms and maybe find units that really have the to get the ball rolling on eliminating the problem.
  4. Don't handle it yourself and don't let your tenants handle it. Call a professional. You can wind up infesting the entire building by treating the problem incorrectly!
  5. Don't delay. It will be expensive and time consuming to get treated but it will be cheaper that a lawsuit in the long run.

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