Bed Bugs, New York and Selling Houses

In my last post, I discussed the laws for selling a co-op or a condo in New York. Let’s take a look at the laws for selling a home in New York.

Sellers are obligated to fill out a disclosure statement and provide it to the buyer. The disclosure statement asks if the house has ever had a pest infestation. Some homeowners that had a bed bug infestation simply avoid the issue and do not offer the form to the buyer.

Does the city toss them in jail or insist on community service work? No they just fine them $500. Some owners will gladly pay the fine to avoid informing the buyer of the dreaded bed bug infestation and avoid the loss of the sale. Morals and real estate don’t always go together.

The buyer needs to be aware of the obligatory disclosure statement. Don’t sign the contract without it. If the seller says his ferret ate it, be suspicious.

Since a seller could lie on the form or maybe not even be aware of an early stage bed bug infestation, perhaps bringing a bed bug sniffing beagle with you or a professional bed bug exterminator would be appropriate while touring homes for sale.