A bug infestation of any kind can spell disaster for your apartment, but acting quickly to address the infestation can prevent it from getting out of control and causing any serious damage. Landlords in California are required by law to maintain a habitable, or livable, rental property, and a severe bug infestation can render any dwelling unlivable. If your San Diego apartment complex has a bug infestation and your landlord has failed to address the issue, or if a severe bug infestation forced you to move to a new apartment, you may be able to sue your landlord for damages. Contact our knowledgeable tenants’ rights attorneys at DAG Law Firm as soon as possible to discuss your best course of action in seeking compensation for an apartment complex bug infestation in San Diego.
Affordable San Diego Bug Infestation Attorney
Bug infestations can happen anywhere in San Diego, regardless of the quality of the apartment complex or rental property. In light of the high incidence of bed bug infestations over the past decade, California law dictates that victims of bed bug infestations have the right to financial compensation for all losses incurred, and in April 2018, a California jury awarded $1.6 million in damages to the family of a three-year-old child who suffered permanent scarring from bed bug bites resulting from an infestation in their apartment. Any type of apartment complex bug infestation can cause you and your family significant physical, emotional and financial harm. That is why our attorneys at DAG Law Firm are committed to protecting the rights of San Diego tenants adversely affected by their landlords’ refusal to maintain a habitable rental property. With our skilled tenants’ rights lawyers on your side, you can hold your landlord accountable for the bug infestation in your apartment complex and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Types of Apartment Complex Bug Infestations
An apartment complex bug infestation is a housing code and health code violation, one that can significantly affect your quality of life and your family’s health and well-being. Although bed bugs have emerged as the most devastating bug infestation in recent years, there are various types of infestations that can render your apartment uninhabitable, including the following:
- Bed bugs
Damages Resulting from a Bug Infestation in San Diego
Your San Diego landlord owes a legal duty to provide you with a clean dwelling free of bugs, and when this legal duty is violated, you should not be made to suffer the consequences. Unfortunately, many tenants in San Diego are unaware of their rights and others don’t have anywhere else to go and fear being evicted from their home if they stand up to their landlord and accuse him of negligence. Keep in mind that you have a right to a safe and sanitary living environment and you should not be responsible for any losses related to a bug infestation in your apartment. Some possible damages resulting from a San Diego bug infestation include:
- Scarring from bug bites
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Financial loss
- Significant discomfort
- Medical bills
- Past rent
- Cost of hotel stay
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
Even if the bug infestation in your apartment doesn’t cause you and your loved ones any physical injuries, the infestation can lead to emotional distress due to sleeplessness and anxiety, as well as significant financial losses if you are required to move to a new rental or stay in a hotel while your apartment complex is fumigated. Bed bugs in particular can cause significant harm to your family’s health and personal possessions, though cockroaches, spiders, bees and other bugs can be just as irritating and damaging to the rental property.
Determining Liability in an Apartment Complex Bug Infestation
Under California law, a rental property must be habitable when a tenant moves in, meaning it must comply with building codes, must not put the tenant’s safety at risk, must not be in disrepair and must be free of any bug infestation, all of which may render the property uninhabitable. If you discover that your San Diego apartment is infested with bugs before you move in, you have the right to not move in and demand your security deposit be refunded, or to request that your landlord address the infestation before you begin your rental lease. If a bug infestation happens after you’ve already moved in, it is the duty of your landlord to provide pest control and, within a reasonable amount of time, remedy any issues that may have led to the infestation. If the infestation causes damages to the apartment that render it uninhabitable, your landlord is also required to repair these damages. In order to hold your landlord liable for damages related to an apartment complex bug infestation in San Diego, you must prove the following:
- Defects exist that violate the landlord’s legal obligation to maintain a habitable rental property, i.e. a severe bug infestation;
- The owner had actual or constructive notice of the defects; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the defects.
Seeking Compensation for a San Diego Bug Infestation
Although landlords in California are required by law to cover the cost of repairs associated with an apartment complex bug infestation, not all landlords will choose to abide by the law. If this is the case, you, as a tenant in California, have the right to make the repairs yourself and deduct the cost from your rental payment, so long as the repairs cost less than one month’s rent. However, this law only applies to repairs that have a direct impact on your health and safety, i.e. a large crack in the wall that is allowing bugs into your apartment. If a bug infestation in your apartment complex forces you to move due to an uninhabitable living environment, you may be able to sue your landlord for damages related to the move. You may also be able to sue your landlord if the bug infestation caused damage to your personal property or adversely affected your health or well-being. Lawsuits against rental property owners for San Diego bug infestations typically allege general negligence, breach of implied warranty of habitability, and violation of California health and safety codes.
Free Bug Infestation Consultation in San Diego
Not only are there significant health risks associated with bug infestations, including pain and suffering, permanent scarring from bug bites, and the possibility of contracting infectious diseases, an infestation in your apartment complex can also cause you and your loved ones significant psychological harm and long-lasting emotional distress. Our tenants’ rights attorneys at DAG Law Firm are dedicated to pursuing justice for victims of apartment complex bug infestations in San Diego and across Southern California, and can help you seek financial compensation for damages related to a bug infestation in your apartment complex. Contact our lawyers at DAG Law Firm today to explore your possible compensation options.