Bed Bug Lawyer in Houston
Houston is the biggest city in Texas and the 4th most populous city in the U.S. with an estimated population of 2.3 Million in 2018.
Alive with energy and rich diversity, Houston is full of first-class attractions that make it a cultural hub.
Houston is a popular international destination for tourists, and also one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. This has required aggressive real estate expansion to accommodate all of the new residents.
Houston is an attractive place to be as it’s home to countless performing and visual arts venues, restaurants, and major sports venues.
All of this growth is great for the Houston economy and the city itself, but this type of growth does not come without its problems.
Houston is a hot spot for bed bug infestations, with hundreds of reported cases in the past year. This city ranks in the top 20 of most bed bug infested cities according to Orkin.
As the city continues to grow, these resilient creatures will continue to plague Houston residents and travelers for years to come.
Get a Bed Bug Attorney in Houston TX
Bed bugs strike fear into the hearts of many homeowners, tenants, and travelers. Because of how difficult they can be to detect, people will often suffer the ill effects of a bed bug bite before they even know they’re present.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency bed bug bites can trigger allergic reactions.
For many, the allergic reaction may be nothing more than skin irritation, but for some, bed bug bites can be more dangerous.
Some may experience more serious side effects from a bed bug bite, including anaphylaxis.
Bed bugs are also known to have an adverse effect on mental health as some people who have been exposed previously reported suffering from anxiety and insomnia among other long term psychological issues.
The good news for residents of Houston and other cities in Texas is that, next to hiring a bed bug professional to completely remove an infestation, there are some DIY methods that can be used to treat bed bugs.
Texas Bed Bug Laws & Regulation
Probably the most important thing you should know about how bed bugs are regarded in the Lone Star State is written in the Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 5 Subtitle A-Sanitation, Ch. 341 A.
Per that passage in this document it states that bed bugs are considered a public health nuisance. Therefore it is the duty of the property to take action toward an infestation as he/she learns of its presence.
To be more specific, the owner of the property must work swiftly to remove the bed bugs in question.
What that means is that if you stay in a Texas hotel, bed bug laws could subject the owners of the establishment to penalties if you are the victim of an infestation.
How Does This Affect Tenants and Landlords?
Things are pretty straightforward if you encounter bed bugs while staying in a Texas hotel. After identifying bed bugs over similar insects, you need to report the issue formally to management and things will progress from there.
When it comes to apartments, the matters become more complex.
First, TexasLawHelp.org urges potential tenants to inquire about their apartment’s bed bug history before signing the lease.
If the landlord informs you that the apartment did suffer from a bed bug infestation in the past, that fact is something you must note in your records for future reference.
While negotiating with your landlord, he/she may also ask you to sign what is known as a bed bug addendum.
Signing the aforementioned addendum means that you agree that the apartment you’re renting is not occupied by bed bugs. Do note though that you are not obligated to sign the addendum and in many cases we urge against it.
You’ll want to thoroughly inspect the apartment before you sign any documentation acknowledging that the apartment is bed bug free. Even if you identify one bed bug during your investigation it’s likely your standing in an apartment that’s infested.
Sue a Hotel in Houston For Bed Bugs
You’re out on the vacation you’ve been waiting for, taking in the sights and enjoying yourself, when after a long day you head to your hotel room and go to sleep.
You’re then awoken hours later by small bites on your body, and your vacation is effectively ruined.
The bed bug epidemic in hotels is showing no signs of slowing. Your case resides on the failure of property owners or management to protect you as the consumer against these pests.
There are cases where management will lie or try to hide the infestation to avoid the expense or potential damages to their reputation. You can successfully sue a hotel for bed bugs based on the following ordinances:
- Hotel owners and managers have a duty to their guests to provide a place free of any knowable dangers.
- Sanitary laws are in place to protect the rights of hotel customers.
- A premises liability claim can be filed if the hotel manager knew there was an infestation and chose not to resolve it.
Bed bug bites are regarded as serious injuries, and in some cases can result in major health risks to you or your children.
Houston Bed Bug Case Example
A man stayed for two nights at the Whitehall in Houston over Thanksgiving weekend. On the second night he woke up with bed bug bites covering his entire body. He called numerous times to speak to the manager but never received a call back. The man sued in 2018 and is still receiving final details on the settlement.
For more information on the average value of a bed bug settlement click here.
What are Bed Bugs
The common bed bug is known as Cimex lectularius, in that they possess a hinged beak in the front of the head and have a stylet.
The stylet is what bed bugs use to push through our skin and feed on our blood.
Once the bug has ingested all of the blood it can take, it will hide in hard to locate places and digest the blood. At this stage the body can swell up to 6 times its normal size, from a flat insect to be much more rounded.
By virtue of the name, people think these insects live only where we sleep, but instead they can be hidden in all kinds of places including:
- Electric appliances
- Computers, printers
- Behind pictures
- Places on your body
The core problem with the name “bed bug” is that when people discover an infestation they commonly throw out the mattress and box spring.
They’ll notice the infestation is gone for maybe 2 days, but there will be a good chance of reoccurrence.
Dealing with the mattress, either by throwing it out or using a protective bed bug mattress cover is only the first step in dealing with an infestation.
Make sure to check all tight spaces and enclosures as those are a go to hiding place for these insects.
What Should You Do if You Find Bed Bugs?
Assuming that you didn’t or weren’t even asked to sign a bed bug addendum and then you surprisingly find one of those pests in your apartment..
What should your next course of action be?
The first thing you need to do as the tenant in that scenario is to report the problem to your landlord.
Do this in writing by penning a dated letter and then send that to your landlord via certified mail, return receipt requested. Remember to keep a copy of the letter yourself.
As long as your payments have been on time, the landlord should respond to your letter within seven days.
If your landlord still hasn’t responded, you can contact your local board of health or a code inspector and request an inspection from them.
Should the inspectors confirm the bed bug problem, you can then send a second letter to your landlord to request immediate action.
As long as you didn’t sign the bed bug addendum and you weren’t found at fault for the infestation, the landlord will be on the hook to pay for the services of an exterminator.
If your landlord continues to ignore your complaints after you sent the second demand letter, you can sue him/her so that he/she takes action.
You may also be entitled to compensation in that scenario. Consult with a bed bug lawyer for more information regarding that matter.
You should also consult with a bed bug lawyer if you believe that your landlord retaliated against you after you filed a complaint.
Houston Bed Bug Lawsuit Lawyers
If you or a loved one has experienced a bed bug infestation you may be entitled to compensation.We’ll connect you with a reputable bed bug lawyer to ensure that you will be well-represented during the upcoming proceeding.
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