Tags

, , , ,

Bed bugs.

Okay, that was two words.

A bill, introduced today:

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 1849

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVE McGHEE.

6025L.01I                            D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk

AN ACT

To amend chapter 441, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to health control for multifamily rental dwelling units.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

           Section A. Chapter 441, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 441.451, to read as follows:

           441.451. 1. As used in this section, the following terms mean:

           (1) “Bed bug”, an insect of the species cimex lectularius, commonly referred to as bed bug;….

           ….(2) “Control”, the process required to eliminate or manage an infestation of bed bugs by poisoning, spraying, fumigating, trapping, or by any other recognized and lawful pest elimination method, including repeated application of any treatment, particularly to areas where bed bugs are likely to congregate. Control of bed bugs shall be deemed completed if there has been no evidence of bed bug activity for fifty days after the last application of any treatment;

           (3) “Dwelling unit”, premises or part thereof occupied, used, or held out for use and occupancy as a place of abode for human beings, whether occupied or vacant;

           (4) “Infestation”, the presence of bed bugs or signs of their presence in a quantity large enough that the tenant of a multifamily rental dwelling unit knew or should have known about the presence of bed bugs in the unit;

           (5) “Surrounding unit”, unit or units that share a common wall or are located above or below.

           2. (1) A landlord of a multifamily rental dwelling unit shall use reasonable efforts to maintain the dwelling unit free of an infestation of bed bugs.

           (2) Upon written notice from a tenant of a multifamily rental dwelling unit that he or she suspects the presence of bed bugs in his or her unit, the landlord’s designated pest control professional shall within seven days visually inspect the unit for bed bugs.

           (3) Upon conclusion that an infestation of bed bugs does exist in the unit following an inspection in accordance with subdivision (2) of this subsection, the landlord shall within fourteen days begin the process of controlling the bed bug infestation in the dwelling unit. The landlord shall also notify other tenants in the surrounding units of the multifamily rental dwelling unit that an infestation has been discovered and is being controlled.

           (4) Only a landlord or landlord’s designated pest control professional shall apply any bed bug control techniques as set forth in subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section.

           (5) When a landlord requires access to a multifamily rental dwelling unit for purposes of inspecting for an infestation of bed bugs or controlling an infestation of bed bugs, the landlord shall provide at least twenty-four hours’ notice to the tenant in writing that the landlord requires access for purposes of inspecting or controlling the infestation of bed bugs.

           (6) Except in a situation where a landlord has been grossly negligent, the landlord or the landlord’s employees, officers, agents, and directors shall not be liable to the tenant or the tenant’s guests for any damages relating to and arising from the infestation of bed bugs or the inspection for and control of bed bugs.

           (7) If, after receiving notice of a suspected bed bug infestation under subdivision (3) of subsection 3 of this section, the landlord fails to inspect and/or designate a pest control professional for the purposes of conducting an inspection and/or controlling bed bugs, or if the landlord obstructs or inhibits the ability of the landlord’s designated pest control professional to control a bed bug infestation, the tenant shall not be liable to the landlord or the landlord’s agents for any damages relating to and arising from the presence of bed bugs

           3. (1) A tenant of a multifamily rental dwelling unit shall use reasonable care to maintain his or her dwelling unit free of an infestation of bed bugs.

           (2) The failure of a tenant to report any bed bug infestation within his or her dwelling unit within seven days after move-in the exercise of reasonable diligence shall be an acknowledgment by the tenant that the dwelling unit is acceptable and bed bug free.

           (3) A tenant who knew or should have known of the presence of an infestation of bed bugs or who suspects the presence of bed bugs in his or her dwelling unit shall notify the landlord in writing as to the presence of bed bugs within his or her unit within forty-eight hours. Notice provided to the landlord by the tenant in accordance with this section constitutes permission to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit in accordance with subdivision (5) of subsection 2 of this section for the purpose of inspecting for or controlling bed bugs.

           (4) A tenant who fails to notify the landlord of the presence of bed bugs in accordance with subdivision (3) of this subsection may be held liable for damages related to the cost of treating the unreported infestation.

           (5) Upon notice from the landlord under subdivision (5) of subsection 2 of this section, a tenant shall grant the landlord or the landlord’s designated pest control professional access to the unit for purposes of conducting an inspection and controlling bed bugs.

           (6) The tenant shall not apply any bed bug control techniques as set forth in subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section.

           (7) If, after receiving notice of an inspection or control procedure under subdivision (5) of subsection 2 of this section, the tenant obstructs or inhibits the ability of the landlord or the landlord’s designated pest control professional to access the unit, fails to comply with protocol set forth by the landlord or landlord’s designated pest control professional, which is deemed necessary to carry out control of a bed bug infestation, or obstructs or inhibits the landlord or the landlord’s designated pest control professional from completing requisite treatment necessary to control a bed bug infestation:

           (a) The landlord shall not be liable to the tenant or his or her guests for any damages relating to and arising from the presence of bed bugs; and

           (b) The tenant may be found to be in violation of his or her lease and/or subject to reasonable damages.

It looks like three weeks is supposed to be a reasonable amount of time to get rid of bed bugs. Fancy that. Sleep tight.

There’s got to be a really fascinating story behind the existence of this bill.