Real Estate, Vermin / Rodents / Pests

There’s Only One Way to Deal With Bedbugs: Release the Sharks

The lawyers have your back, you cute little bed bug sniffing dog.

Now this is what I’m talking about. These bedbugs think they’re so powerful. They think they’ve got us by the balls. They think they can just come into this city and take things over.

Well, in the words of Dr. Peter Venkman, “Nobody steps on [rich tourists sleeping at the Waldorf] in my town!” Light ’em up, boys. It’s time these critters learned how we do things downtown.

And for this problem we’re going to unleash one of our most powerful weapons: an ARMY of landlord-tenant lawyers, who are ridiculously skillful. These guys are not to be messed with. Have you ever tried to evict someone in New York City? I bet it didn’t work out for you. Landlord-tenant lawyers in this city are what trained pit bulls want to be when they grow up.

The lawyers will stop these damned bedbugs. They’ll make it so damn expensive for landlords who don’t correct the problem that your super will personally eat all of the critters in the building if that’s the only way to make them go away….

The Real Deal reports on lawyers v. bedbugs:

Michael Kozek, an attorney with tenant representation firm Jeffrey S. Ween & Associates, said that dozens of New York City rental and co-op residents have hired him over the last six months to fight their landlords. Most cases have been resolved before reaching the point of a lawsuit.

A number of cases have made it to the Housing Part of the Civil Court of the City of New York as well, where tenants sue the city for failing to enforce the law, and go after their landlords for failing to comply with it. The number of bedbug cases that have been filed in housing court is not clear as the court does not specifically document such cases.

You hear that, nasty bedbugs? We’re taking the fight to you! Or at least to the landlords. Which is just as good. Because once the landlords care, once the bedbugs start eating into their wallets, these damned dirty bugs are going down.

Here’s what the bedbugs are up against, according to Steven Wagner, a condo attorney in New York:

There are three kinds of main cases being brought to attorneys in connection with bedbugs.

One is where a tenant refuses to pay rent because they say they have bedbugs and the landlord sues them for rent in housing court. Rent abatements are granted in these cases “depending on several different factors, such as how many bedbugs there were, where they were found and how effectively the landlord worked to get rid of them,” Wagner said….

A second type is based on negligence at an apartment building or hotel. Either a tenant or a hotel guest will bring action against the landlord or hotel owner for violating the housing code, which mandates that when renting a room, it shouldn’t have conditions in it which negatively affect the space. “Those cases are still winding their way through court,” Wagner said, and his office has handled several such cases in the last few months.

The third category of cases is a newer one, Wagner noted, which relates to the disclosure statute, where a tenant moves into an apartment, discovers bedbugs and wants to get out of his lease by claiming the landlord committed fraud by not revealing that there had been bedbugs.

These (literal) bloodsuckers are so going down. We’re going to hit them with lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit. And they’ll be begging for free passage back to whatever portal from hell they came out of.

Tenants seek legal recourse over bedbugs [Real Deal]

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