Landlord accountability for mattress bug infestations sought – Unicameral Replace


Certain Omaha landlords would be required to conduct bed bug inspections and treatments under a bill that was examined by the City Affairs Committee on February 9th.

Senator Justin Wayne

“data-medium-file =”×300.jpg “data-large-file =” http: //update.legislature / wp-content / uploads / 2017/01 / SenWayne_inline.jpg “loading =” lazy “class =” size-medium wp-image-20166 “src =” /wp-content/uploads/2017/01/xSenWayne_inline-200×300.jpg.pagespeed.ic.6Jov9JNcl-.jpg “alt =” Sen. Justin Wayne “width =” 200 “height =” 300 “srcset =”×300.jpg.pagespeed.ic.6Jov9JNcl- .jpg 200w, 297w “size =” (max-width: 200px) 100vw , 200px “data-pagespeed-url-hash =” 1613134207 “onload =” pagespeed.CriticalImages.checkImageForCriticality (this); “/> Sen. Justin Wayne

LB553, introduced by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, would adopt the Bed Bug Detection and Treatment Act. The bill provides that landlords of apartment buildings in large cities have the apartments checked and treated at the landlord’s expense after a written or electronic complaint from a tenant. Omaha is currently the only metropolis in the state.

The bill would also prohibit such landlords from renting an apartment that they know or suspect contains bed bugs. Tenants would have to immediately notify their landlord of any suspected infestation, and landlords would have 96 hours to respond.

Wayne said bed bugs are an emerging public health problem in Omaha schools.

“It’s similar to what happens in children who have experienced lice,” Wayne said. “The difference between bed bugs and lice is that lice are often confined to your home. Bed bugs, in particular, can move through residential units and spread rapidly and exponentially. “

Carl Braun, president of the Nebraska State Pest Control Association, testified in support of the law. He said bed bugs are not a personal problem, but a social problem, and blaming tenants for bed bugs is discouraging.

“The state of Nebraska must proactively ensure that our existing legal structures do not create incentives for the further spread of bed bugs,” said Braun. “If landlords deny liability and tenants don’t have affordable and effective ways to control pests, the infestation remains untreated.”

Lynn Fisher, who testified on behalf of the Nebraska REALTORS Association and the Real Estate Owners and Managers Association of Lincoln, testified against LB553. The cost of inspection and treatment should be borne by tenants, he said.

“Landlords and property owners don’t bring bed bugs into their property,” Fisher said.

The committee took no immediate action on LB553.