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Bed Bugs & The Law 2018 COBBTF Summit

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By Bill Willis and Joe Maskovyak

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Bed Bugs & The Law 2018 COBBTF Summit

  1. 1. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 2018 COBBTF Summit BED BUGS and the LAW Bill Willis Willis Law Firm, LLC 141 E. Town Street, Suite 200 Columbus, Ohio 43215 P. 614.324.0442 F. 614.324.0460 wwillis@willislawohio.com www.willislawohio.com Joe Maskovyak Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) 175 S. Third Street Columbus, Ohio 43215 P. 614.280-1984x133 F. 614.463-1060 joemaskovyak@cohhio.org www.cohhio.org
  2. 2. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Chapter 5321 •Question • The Ohio landlord-tenant law was amended in 2016 to specifically determine who (landlords or tenants) is responsible both for treating any infestation as well as who is responsible for payment • A. True • B. False
  3. 3. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Chapter 5321 • The correct answer is: FALSE • Seriously? • You really believe the Ohio legislature has stepped up to address this issue?
  4. 4. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 § 5321.04 Obligations of Landlord (A) A Landlord who is a party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following: 1. Comply with the requirements of all applicable building, housing, health, and safety codes that materially affect health and safety; 2. Make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in fit condition; 3. Keep all common areas of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition.
  5. 5. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 § 5321.05 Obligations of Tenant (A) A Tenant who is party to a rental agreement shall do all of the following… 1. Keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses safe and sanitary; 5. Comply with the requirements imposed in tenants by all applicable state and local housing, health, and safety codes;… 9. (B) The Tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent for the Landlord to enter…
  6. 6. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 § 5321.06 Rental Agreement Terms A Landlord and a Tenant may include in a Rental Agreement any terms and conditions, including any term relating to rent, the duration of an agreement, and any other provision governing the rights and obligations of the parties that are not inconsistent with or prohibited by Chapter 5321.of the Revised Code or any other rule of law.
  7. 7. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Title 45 HOUSING CODE OF THE COLUMBUS CITY CODES Article VII. General Regulation Chapter 4551 RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNERS AND OCCUPANTS
  8. 8. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 4551.01 Responsibility of Owner Responsibilities of owners and occupants include, but are not limited to, the following areas: (f) Pest elimination. The owner is responsible for elimination of any insects, rats, or other pests in a dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units and on the premises thereof. He is also responsible whenever the infestation is caused by improper rat-proofing of the premises.
  9. 9. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 4551.02 Responsibility of Occupant (f) Pest Elimination. The occupant is responsible for elimination of any insects, rats, or other pests within that part of the premises occupied and controlled by him in a single family dwelling or in a dwelling containing two (2) or more dwelling units if his unit is the only one infested unless infestation of the premises was caused by improper rat-proofing.
  10. 10. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 International Property Maintenance Code 1307.01 STANDARDS AND ADOPTION OF CODE. The International Property Maintenance Code, 2006 edition, as published by the International Code Council, be and is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance and Housing Code of the City of Troy, for regulating and governing the condition and maintenance of all property, building and structures. (Ord. 32-2007. Passed 6-18-07.)
  11. 11. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 IPMC Section 308 Extermination 308.01 Infestation. All structures shall be kept free from insect and rodent infestation. All structures in which insects or rodents are found shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes that will not be injurious to human health. After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to prevent re-infestation.
  12. 12. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 IPMC Section 308 Extermination 308.2 Owner. The owner of any structure shall be responsible for extermination within the structure prior to renting or leasing the structure.
  13. 13. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 IPMC Section 308 Extermination 308.3 Single Occupant. The occupant of a one-family dwelling or of a single-tenant nonresidential structure shall be responsible for extermination on the premises.
  14. 14. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 IPMC Section 308 Extermination • 308.4 Multiple Occupancy. The owner of a structure containing two or more dwelling units, a multiple occupancy, a rooming house or a nonresidential structure shall be responsible for extermination in the public or shared areas of the structure and exterior property. If infestation is caused by failure of an occupant to prevent such infestations in the area occupied, the occupant shall be responsible for extermination.
  15. 15. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 IPMC Section 308 Extermination 308.5 Occupant. The occupant of any structure shall be responsible for the continued rodent and pest-free condition of the structure.
  16. 16. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 5321.11 Failure Of Tenant To Fulfill Obligations-Remedies Of Landlords (The Cure Notice) • If the tenant fails to fulfill any obligation imposed upon him by section 5321.05 of the Revised Code that materially affects health and safety…landlord may deliver written notice, specifying acts or omissions…rental agreement will terminate 30 days…if the tenant fails to remedy, “The rental agreement shall terminate”
  17. 17. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 5321.07 Notice to Remedy Condition, Escrow, Lease Termination • (A) If a landlord fails to fulfill any obligation imposed on him by section 5321.04…or the rental agreement,…the tenant may give notice in writing… • (B) If a landlord…fails to remedy the condition within a reasonable time…or within 30 days, whichever is sooner, and the tenant is current in rent, the tenant may: • 1. Escrow • 2. Ask for Court order to reduce rent and/or use money to make repair • 3. Terminate the lease.
  18. 18. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 5321.09 Landlord application for release of rent (A) A landlord who receives notice that rent due him has been deposited with a clerk of a municipal or county Court pursuant to section 5321.07 of the Revised Code, may do the following any of the following, including applying to the court for the release of the rent on the grounds that: • 1. Conditions in 5321.05 notice has been remedied • 2. Tenant did not provide 5321.07 notice or was not current in their rent… • 3. No violation of any obligation under 5321.04 or lease… (C) If above conditions found to be true Court releases funds to landlord… (D) If the Court finds that the condition contained in the notice given pursuant to division (A) of section 5321.07 of the Revised Code was the result of an act or omission of the tenant, or that the tenant intentionally acted in bad faith in proceeding under section 5321.07 of the Revised Code, the tenant shall be liable for damages caused to the landlord and costs, together with reasonable attorney’s fees if the tenant intentionally acted in bad faith.
  19. 19. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Bed Bugs Integrated pest management (IPM) is the coordinated use of information about pests, the environment, and evidence-based pest control methods to prevent and manage pest infestations. Pests need food, water, and a place to hide. Take these away and you begin to solve the pest problem in a sustainable way.
  20. 20. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 MULTIFAMILY INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN • Educating Staff • Proper Information, Identification, Inspection • Dr. Jones Power Point, use of Photo Placards, Looking for Bed Bugs Manual • Preventative Policies and Practices • Vendor Requirements • Maintenance Checklist • Complaint by Resident; Bed Bugs Discovered; Now What? • Proper Record Keeping
  21. 21. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 MULTIFAMILY INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN • Educating Tenants- Bed Bug Myths/Facts • Mandatory Reporting • Preventative Policies and Practices • Secondhand Items • Self Help Prohibited • Incorporation of Integrated Pest Management Plan into Lease/Rules/Regulations • Tenant Certifications • Carrots & Sticks
  22. 22. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 MULTIFAMILY INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT PLAN • Tenant Notice • Preparations for Treatment • Using the “right” pest control company • Reasonable Accommodation Policy • Use of bed bug detection dog • Modifying local “set out” rules
  23. 23. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 HUD NOTICE H 2011-20 Guidelines on bed bugs applicable to all multifamily properties with active HUD insured, HUD-held or Direct Loans, Section 202 or 811 Capital Advances, Project-Based Rental Assistance Contracts, and/or HUD Use Agreements (HUD Multifamily Properties)
  24. 24. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 HUD NOTICE H 2012-5 HUD Notice H 2012-5 issued April 23, 2012 supersedes Housing Notice 2011-20
  25. 25. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 HUD NOTICE PIH 2012-17 HUD Notice PIH-2012-17 Public Housing Agencies
  26. 26. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 The Conundrum • Tenant’s side • Landlord’s side
  27. 27. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 TENANT • Anyone can get bed bugs. • Not linked to unclean conditions • Difficulty preparing for treatment (physical/mental/economic) • Responsibility for cost • Self treatment • Cash strapped tenants • To notify or not to notify landlord • Landlord’s duty to disclose • Lack of response from landlord • Acquiring used furniture (especially curbside)
  28. 28. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 LANDLORD • Anyone can get bed bugs • Not attracted by condition of apartment/ insects of convenience • Landlord cannot control-clothing, suitcases, storage boxes, furniture • Tenant’s failure to notify • Self treatment • Tenant’s failure to prepare for treatment • Reintroduction after treatment • Cash-strapped owners • Responsibility for cost • Failure to allow entry
  29. 29. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Negligence • Who is responsible for treatment and payment typically is a function of who is at fault • Works with cockroaches and rats
  30. 30. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Negligence • Does not work so well with bed bugs • Health and sanitary condition irrelevant • Bed bugs travel
  31. 31. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Negligence Bed Bugs are Travelers -Schools -Hospitals -Daycare -Job -Guests -Hotels & Motels
  32. 32. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Negligence Question • Since I know bed bugs travel, I should and would be liable and responsible for paying if: • A. As a parent, I continued to send my kid(s) to school if there has been a report of bed bugs • B. If I continued to send my kid(s) to a daycare that reported bed bugs, even if it means I must take off work, whether or not I have leave time • C. I go to work after knowing that bed bugs have been reported in the work place • D. I fail to ask and/or search every guest that enters my home for bed bugs • E. I have no idea…..
  33. 33. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Negligence • The correct answer is E • The law has not made clear when a tenant should be held responsible because they have bed bugs in their home. • Even if it can shown that the tenant, tenants’ kids or guests brought the bed bugs, there is no statute or court case that has analyzed how or when responsibility may be allocated for liability
  34. 34. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Resources Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force www.centralohiobedbugs.org
  35. 35. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Under contract to USDA and funded by HUD, the NE Regional IPM Center at Cornell University issued a booklet titled, “Integrated Pest Management, A Guide for Affordable Housing.” This document is posted at: http://www.stoppests.org/what-is-ipm/guide/ Resources
  36. 36. Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio | 175 S. Third St. Suite 580 Columbus, OH 43215 Prevention and Safe Removal of Bedbugs portal.hud.gov/huddoc/PIH2012-17-att.pdf Good Summary Prevention Action Plan, Removal Action Plan Additional Resources

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