Ditching, sleep disorders, having to go to a hotel: the infestation of an apartment by bedbugs is a “Plague », Warns MP Cathy Racon-Bouzon (LRM, Bouches-du-Rhône), in a report submitted to the Ministry of Housing on October 6. This scourge is also a source of litigation between owners and tenants. Who pays for insect eradication? And for additional costs?
As the elected representative reminds us, “It results from Law of July 6, 1989 tending to improve rental relationships, and the law for the evolution of housing, development and digital (ELAN) of 23 November 2018 (article 142), that the maintenance of housing in a state of decency “, that is to say “Free from any infestation of harmful and parasitic species”, is the responsibility of the lessor, “Not just at the time of signing the contract”, but also “Throughout the lease”.
Consequently, it is the lessor who must pay the cost of eliminating bedbugs, unless he proves that the lessee has introduced them. Now this proof is ” difficult “ to provide, emphasizes the deputy: how to demonstrate that the occupant has, on a sidewalk, recovered a very pretty carpet, but invaded by parasites, which someone had got rid of – “A classic of the home infestation”?
Duration of occupation
The magistrates try to balance things out by taking into account the duration of the occupation of the premises by the tenant. The Paris Court of Appeal judge so, October 2, 2020, that the fact that Marc X, dentist, complained of itching “After one night” in his new home proves that the landlord “Failed in its obligation to provide decent housing”.
Moreover, this lessor specified that he had called on a pest control company before the lease took effect, which “Shows that he was aware of the presence of bedbugs in his home”. He is ordered to reimburse rent, security deposit, hotel and laundry costs to his tenant.
On the other hand, the Orléans Court of Appeal refuse, on June 12, 2019, to deduct rehousing expenses, as requested by tenants saying they were forced to have moved because of bedbugs: ” Whereas the lease was concluded in 2011, the presence of no parasite was not reported at the time, the appearance of bedbugs having occurred several years later, and whereas an invoice from the company is produced ISS, intervened at the owner’s request on November 5, 2015 (…), the owner cannot be criticized for having failed in his obligations. “
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