If you have had to deal with bedbugs in one of your rental properties, I am sure it was a stressful and costly situation.
It seems like there are times when the media makes it seem like the world is infested with the critters.
The reality is, that you will likely have to deal with atleast one bedbug issue in your landlording career.
The important thing to do is to not over react, and follow a process, put in place by professionals.
If you do hire “professionals” make sure to ask for referrals and get a written warranty.
Make sure they will be doing things like removing switch plate covers, putting plastic covers over matresses.
You will also need cooperation from your tenant. All clothes, towels, bedding etc. will need to be washed in hot water, dryed on the hottest dryer setting and placed in plastic bags.
If you or your tenant choose to keep any furniture, it will need to be bagged, cleaned and sprayed.
Here are some preventative measures:
Enter the tenants current address into a bedbug registry like the one you can link to in this post.
If you are dealing with tenants coming from known areas, properties, or countries with bedbug problems ask lots of questions.
Make sure your tenants are not picking up furniture on the side of the road and bringing it directly into their rented space.
It is also not necessarily a problem for the poor. Many people believe that it can only happen in C class buildings.
Here is a reality check. A well off traveller could come from a country with bedbugs on their clothes. Then stay in an expensive hotel room. The next day your well off tenant could stay in that room and pick up the bedbugs.
You may not have your guard up and just let them move in. A couple nights later, they are complaining and freaking out at you. You could be blamed.
The challenge is, that many times the person who may bring the bedbugs in, will not have the funds or willingness to take responsibility for the cost of extermination.
The job and expense will be put on you, the landlord.
If it affects more than one unit, you may also be picking up the tab for extermination in several units.
That can get expensive, and if they are not exterminated correctly, they may come back. They often lay eggs in places like behind switch plates or in crevices of furniture.
If you are curious, enter the address of your properties in the search section of this website (or similar) http://bedbugregistry.com/about/
I want to note that this site and others like it, will probably not be able to verify the posted information. The information is posted based on the honor system (so, get all the facts before you make any accusations). – Bed Bug Registry
Also check the dates on when the information was posted.
At the end of the day, I hope you never have to deal with bedbugs, but if you do, I hope this post helps.
If you want other great information about managing properties and being a landlord, hop on over to Amazon.com and get a copy of our book.