In New York City, landlords are responsible for getting rid of bed bugs in infested buildings and units and they must pay for extermination.
This was not always the case, but a turning point was a 2004 case, Ludlow Properties, LLC, vs. Young, in which Judge Cyril Bedford sided with a tenant who refused to pay rent for six months because of a persistent bed bug problem.
Bedbugs Emerge as New Area of Housing Law
A lawyer at Shafer Glazer, LLP, Timothy Wenk, said the Bedford decision has rippled through the legal community. He said the case reversed a long-standing decision in a 1908 case, Jacobs v. Morand, which held that tenants must pay rent regardless of vermin infestation.