Bed bugs are a nightmare. Besides causing you pain, distress, and loss of sleep, the process of getting rid of bed bugs is costly – and that’s without considering the additional costs of replacing infested clothes or bedding, all of which can be damaged by the shrapnel of the bedbug war.
So, it’s no surprise that many people want compensation for their troubles – especially when they’ve been contracted from an organization that they’ve paid good money to in exchange for bedbug-free goods and services.
But is it actually possible to claim compensation for bed bugs?
Absolutely, but it can be a tricky process, as you’ll need to provide sufficient evidence against the establishment you’re filing against. The first step is verify you have bedbugs (see where bed bugs like to live and hide), and you got them from the establishment and their lack of care, not yours.
What should you do if you’ve suffered as a result of a bed bug infestation in a hotel?
If you’ve been bitten by bed bugs while staying at a hotel, you can be compensated for emotional distress, pain, and scarring, in addition to any relevant travel expenses, and for the vacation that was ruined by the bed bugs tagging along.
Hotels have a duty of care to their guests, which they have to abide by – otherwise, they can end up paying out thousands, to compensate for the distress and inconvenience caused.
So, if guests can prove that the hotel knew about the bed bug infestation prior to their stay, they can claim additional damages, though this can be hard to prove, unless evidence can be obtained from previous guests who similarly complained about bed bugs during their stay.
If you notice bed bugs at your hotel, you should take photos of them and alert the hotel management immediately. Moreover, if you notice bedbug bites on your skin after staying at a hotel, you should take photos of the bites – additionally, if you see any around your home, you should also take photos and document the invasion. Then, inform the hotel of your experience and ask for compensation; if they deny liability, then you may want to file a lawsuit.
One thing to note: if you notice bed bugs in your hotel room, you shouldn’t continue to stay in the room, as you won’t be eligible for additional damages if you choose to co-habit with the bed bugs for longer than you need to. Moreover, it may make any lawsuit you file more subject to doubt.
What should you do if you’ve rented a property and it’s infested with bed bugs?
If you move into your new place, and you notice that there are bed bugs crawling about the place, you should immediately inform your landlord.
For situations such as these, there is a ‘remedy period’ in which the landlord has a certain period of time to deal with the bed bug problem, before they can be said to be breaking the lease. Even if they remedy the problem, though, you’re still eligible for compensation for any bites you’ve already received.
If your landlord refuses to deal with the bed bug infestation, however, you’re legally entitled to withhold rental payments, and you might want to file a law suit to claim the rent you’ve already paid, the costs of having to relocate and any other costs related to inconvenience, distress and injury from bites.
Moreover, a tenant can claim additional damages if they can provide evidence that the landlord knew about the bedbugs prior to their move into the property, as renting the property out whilst knowing about a bed bug infestation (and not disclosing the problem) can be considered fraud.
What should you do if you receive bedbug-infested furniture from rent-to-own stores?
Rent-to-own furniture stores commonly have issues with bed bugs, as the trucks used to transport the furniture both receives old furniture, and delivers new furniture. So, if the truck picks up items from a house infested with bed bugs, these bed bugs can continue to live in the truck for a few days, meaning they’ll probably come into contact with the next delivery.
If the rent-to-own furniture truck driver fails to notice the bed bugs, they’ll proceed to deliver the furniture to their customers’ homes. Consequently, a home may become wholly infested with bed bugs after just one delivery of bedbug-infested furniture.
A lawsuit can be filed against the rent-to-own store, to compensate for the exorbitant costs of getting rid of the bugs, in addition to costs associated with temporary relocation (while the house is being de-bugged), and the replacement of bed-bug damaged clothes, linens, mattresses and anything else that can be stained by the accidental squishing of the bedbugs.
So, if you’re thinking about taking legal action to claim compensation for your bed-bug troubles – from a hotel, landlord, or even a rent-to-own furniture store – make sure to collect all the evidence you can, inform the establishment that caused the issue, and get in touch with a lawyer to claim the compensation you deserve.
This post was provided by Avon Pest Control. A pest control company located in Meto Vancouver, Canada.