Bed Bugs in the Apartment Building: How to Know – Ask!

Totally paranoid about bed bugs when hunting for NYC apartments for rent? You’re not alone. It’s a common concern for many of our renters.  You and your fellow renters really want to know which buildings have had an infestation, especially before you sign a 12 month lease. So how do you know? Ask! New York City landlords are legally bound to disclose whether the unit or the building have had an infestation in the past year.

Supported by the renter community, a law binding landlords to ‘truth in bed bugs’ was passed in August 2010. As the law dictates, whether you ask or not, the landlord is required to disclose a bedbug infestation in the apartment or the apartment building. But to be safe, ask the landlord. Don’t trust that they’ll volunteer the information.  If you need to, just mention the law and landlords should immediately understand their obligation.

Another resource for you to track down previous infestations is The Bedbug Registry.  A free site where users self-report their infestations. Launched in 2006, the site has since logged a lot of reports and continues to grow in popularity, especially as the bedbug problem grows.  But as is the case with all things, don’t believe everything you read on the registry.  As the site itself says, “because our bedbug reports come directly from users, we can’t guarantee their accuracy.”