HUD Ruling on Bedbug Treatment


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Public and Indian Housing
Regional Directors; State and Area
Coordinators; Public Housing Hub
Directors; Program Center Coordinators; Issued: February 28, 2012
Troubled Agency Recovery Center Directors;
Special Applications Center Director; Expired: This Notice remains
Administrators; Offices of Native American in effect until amended, superseded,
Programs; Public Housing Agencies; or rescinded
Housing; Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8; Cross References:
Tribally Designated Housing Entities;
Indian Tribes; Resident Management

I. Purpose
Bedbug infestations have become a serious problem in housing throughout the country. Public Housing properties are not immune to infestations. This Notice provides
information and references to best practices regarding the prevention and control of bedbug infestations. It also provides guidance on the rights and responsibilities of HUD,
Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and tenants with regard to bedbug infestations.

VII. Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
Tenants are strongly encouraged to immediately report the suspicion of possible bedbugs in a housing unit or other areas of the property. Early reporting allows the pests
to be identified and treated before the infestation spreads. Tenants are the first line of defense against bedbug infestations and should be encouraged to create living
environments that deter bedbugs. This includes reducing unreasonable amounts of clutter that create hiding places for bedbugs, and regular checking of beds and laundering of
Bedbug infestations can cause health concerns, including physical discomfort and may contribute to stress and anxiety on the part of the residents. Tenants should be advised of the following:
• A PHA may not deny tenancy to a potential resident on the basis of the
tenant having experienced a prior bedbug infestation, nor may an owner
give residential preference to any tenant based on a response to a question
regarding prior exposure to bedbugs.
• A tenant reporting bedbugs may expect expeditious response and attention
by the PHA, but should be advised that inspection and, if necessary,
treatment of bedbugs may take time to schedule. The inspections should
occur within three calendar days of the tenant report when possible.
• Following a report of bedbugs, the PHA or a qualified third party trained in bedbug detection should inspect the dwelling unit to determine if bedbugs are present.

It is critical that inspections be conducted by trained
staff or third party professionals. The PHA may enter the unit to perform these activities, in accordance with the lease.
• If bedbug infestation is found in the unit, the tenant may expect treatment
to begin within five days of the inspection, though depending on the form
of treatment, this may not be possible. Tenants should be advised that
treatment may take several weeks.
• Tenants are expected to cooperate with the treatment efforts by allowing
for heat treatment of clothing and furniture and refraining from placement
of infested furniture or other items in common areas such as hallways.
Tenant cooperation is shown to expedite the control of bedbugs and to
prevent spreading of infestations.
• Management may make staff available to help with moving and cleaning
of furniture to accomplish the treatment effort.
• The tenant will not be expected to contribute to the cost of the treatment effort.

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