CTPOST.com reported on April 2, 2013 that the New Hampshire Senate heard from landlord and tenant groups, pest control workers, and affordable housing advocates about the bed bug issues that plague the state and about actions that should be taken to curtail the bloodsucking pests.
According to reports, testimony was given about an elderly man who sat outside all night to avoid being bitten by bed bugs, while another man slept in his car to avoid the pests. Another story was told of a young mother who asked for emergency assistance at a shelter instead of returning to her bed bug infested rental unit after giving birth to her newborn baby.
The New Hampshire House has already passed new bed bug legislation which is now being decided by the Senate. If passed through the Senate, landlords would be responsible for bed bug eradication services, but they would be able to seek reimbursement for the services if tenants were found to be responsible for the infestation. As has been seen before, this is quite a difficult task to prove as bed bugs can arrive from many different locations. The fact that they can remain in a rental unit for over a year without a blood meal will make it difficult to prove that a tenant brought the pests into a unit as well. Adding this phrasing into the new Bill could easily bring about lawsuits from both landlords and tenants.
The new Bill would also allow for “cities and towns to enact ordinances aimed at preventing the spread of bed bugs. Making some infestations a violation of minimum quality standards protects low-income tenants, who might not be able to fight an infestation on their own.”
Everyone seems to be in agreement that this bed bug legislation should pass through the New Hampshire Senate. As has been proven in the states that have enacted bed bug legislation, the bed bug laws have helped to outline everyone’s responsibilities in eradicating the pests.