Can My Landlord Evict Me Because I Complained About Bed Bugs in My Apartment?

Learn about tenant protection from retaliatory evictions for bed bug complaints.

If you have bed bugs, or another health or safety problem in your rental unit, the first thing to do is inform the landlord or manager. See the Nolo article Landlord Responsibility for Bed Bugs for more on this. If your landlord fails to take action, you may pursue other options such as calling health inspectors. Local health departments are becoming increasingly aware of the seriousness of bed bug infestations, and may be prepared to deal with the landlord on your behalf.   Unfortunately, the result may not be a landlord-financed   pest control extermination, but a termination notice.   Fortunately, this type of landlord retaliation (a termination notice for complaining to a health inspector or other government agency about a health or safety problem)  is illegal in most states.   The laws in many states protect tenants from landlord retaliation (such as a rent hike, decreased services, or tenancy termination or eviction) for exercising a variety of legal rights, including withholding the rent for an uninhabitable rental unit.   For details on the types of retaliation your state covers, see Nolo’s State Laws Prohibiting Landlord Retaliation.  For advice on how to respond to—and prove—retaliation, see the article Landlord Retaliation.

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