New bill to add clarity to who’s responsible for rental property bed bug infestations – WOWT

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Bed bugs are a problem many people hope not to deal with. For those renting and affected by bed bugs in Nebraska, there is no clear direction on who is responsible - the landlord or the tenant? A proposed bill could create some clarity.

Tackling bed bugs is tough and pricey. There are bed bug traps, you slide them under a cushion or bed and they let you know of the possibility of an infestation.

Lb-864 would create a reporting process for tenants in Nebraska and force landlords to act quickly and respond to bed bug complaints within 4 days.

Landlords have questions.

The vast majority of the time the bed bug is brought in by tenants, said Dennis Tierney.

Dennis Tierney is a private landlord. He says every time he has an empty unit he makes sure there are no bed bugs before he rents out again.

It's a preventative step that would keep him out of trouble should the bill pass, but he still has concerns.

With this law, we have no idea how much it would cost. This additional regulation on a small business person that is the typical landlord said Tierney.

Tierney says if a unit is infected, the cost would most likely be charged to the tenant.

Hannah Wyble, who works with impoverished refugees, is neutral on the issue. She said those costs don't come cheap.

The cost of professional bed bug mattress covers, the cost of having to get rid of furniture and replace it. There are a lot of costs associated, said Wyble.

The bed bug problem is not just at home.

This past year I received numerous calls and emails from teachers who are worried because students in their classes have bed bugs and they have found bed bugs crawling out of backpacks, said Wyble.

If the bill passes, landlords would only be on the clock if the tenants first report a bed bug issue in a timely manner.

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New bill to add clarity to who's responsible for rental property bed bug infestations - WOWT

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