New Ordinance to Squash Bed Bugs

February 15, 2013

No Bedbugs PhotoBedbugs aren’t really the most appealing conversation topic, but they are a necessary concern for both downtown apartment renters and Chicago real estate homeowners alike .

To help squash this problem, the Illinois Association of REALTORS recently decided to propose a $10,000 penalty for landlords who fail to eliminate bedbugs in any of their apartments.

While the bill seems like a good idea, there are couple of logistical concerns that need to be taken into consideration before the motion can be voted upon. For example, if a tenant fails to alert a landlord about an infestation, it is unclear whether the landlord or the tenant would be liable for the situation. Many tenants bring bedbugs into an apartment without realizing it, mostly when they purchase used furniture or mattresses. Also, even if the ordinance is passed, renters will still be responsible for any bedbug pest fees.

For those thinking that $10,000 seems like a steep fine, it is worth noting that effective bedbug treatment starts at around $400 and prices can go into the thousands, according to Orkin Pest Control. Since bedbugs are so tiny, they can easily nest in suitcases, boxes, shoes and even wallpaper and headboards.

One of the best ways to prevent bed bugs is having a clear understanding of where they come from. Carefully inspect any pieces of newly obtained used furniture or mattresses, and when you travel, check your hotel room for bedbugs by pulling back the sheets of the mattress and inspecting the box spring, seams of the bedding and the headboard.

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