In any vocation or career one has to first be trained for their position. Training and learning doesn’t stop the day you graduate from school and accept your diploma; it is then that after developing fundamental core learning patterns that one needs to expand their education and learn how to best apply what they have learned in real life situations.
There’s been a dramatic development in how management prepares units for rent which includes education training for their staff for bed bugs. Everyday bed bugs hit the news with stories of how a tenant moves in to a unit with a bed bug infestation which leads to a law suit.
We are going to address this blog to what is recently being done and what will become a requirement in the future for those who own properties for rent.
When being employed by a residential management company as a maintenance supervisor or worker, they too can be and are held responsible for what’s called Implied Warranty of Habitability. This entails the safety of all rental buildings and units.
The responsibility of these maintenance workers is greater than one can imagine because of the possibilities of someone falling victim to a faulty procedure or lack of correcting an issue to provide a safe environment for the new tenant. When a unit is being prepared for the inclusion of a new tenant, the maintenance supervisor is handed a repair sheet. All items must be corrected and repaired prior to admitting a new tenant into the premises.
As an example we can use a replacement of a gas stove. When installing a new gas line to the stove, it must be pressure and (bubble) or leak tested. If the maintenance worker fails to test the gas line and it leaks and blows up or causes breathing problems for the tenant; it is the maintenance worker that can be held responsible and can be included in a law suit. Another example can be a railing on a stair case that may have become loose. If a repair ticket has been given to maintenance and not fixed properly, and someone falls down the stairs splitting their head wide open, the responsibility can fall on the maintenance worker and can be included in a law suit.
There are many other things that can be used as an example but I think you get the picture where when a premise is prepared for occupancy it needs to be in working order.
Implied Warranty of Habitability covers the requirements of the defendant to include maintaining a unit in a habitable condition. A dwelling unit is not habitable if it violates provisions of housing or health codes concerning the health, safety, sanitation or fitness for habitation of the dwelling unit or if it substantially lacks:
- Effective waterproofing and weather protection of the roof and exterior walls, windows and doors
- Plumbing facilities capable of producing hot and cold running water; furnished to appropriate fixtures and connected to a sewage disposal system
- Adequate heating maintained in good working order
- Electrical lighting, outlets and wiring maintained in good working order.
- Receptacles for garbage and rubbish in clean condition and good repair
- Floors, walls, ceilings, stairways and railings maintained in good repair
- Ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, maintained in good repair
And last but not least: Building, grounds, appurtenances and all other areas in every part clean, sanitary and free from all accumulations of debris, filth, rubbish, garbage, and most of all, rodents, insects and vermin.
So you might wonder what this has to do with bed bugs. Bed bugs fall under the Implied Warranty of Habitability just like if your building or units were riddled with cockroaches or rodents. It is up to the owner or management to keep the building free and clear of things that can cause lack of a safe and habitable place to live.
More often landlords either don’t know their units have bed bug when someone moves out or they don’t care and rent it out anyway. Maintenance workers if trained can help to identify signs of bed bugs before the final walk through and save many people from falling victim to them.
MassBedBugBusters offers this education and bed bug inspections for property management groups to help keep their new tenants safe and to keep them from being sued. Each presentation is customized to fit the needs of their clients whether a small building with only six or eight units or large multi-unit properties with a thousand units.
And because bed bugs can enter any facility at any time, beyond this training they help by offering regular inspections with their Proactive Landlord Bed Bug Program to stay up to date and catch any possible bed bug problems before they become an infestation.
This greatly reduces the possibilities of bed bugs hiding in areas that are unnoticed by human detection to help keep responsible landlords and their maintenance workers from being sued while building trusting relationships with their tenants.
Mass Bed Bug Busters http://www.massbedbugbusters.com has been helping realtors, property owners, and hospitality/resident owners for years and can help you too! They service All of New England, including Boston, MA, Providence, RI, Worcester, MA, Hampton, NH just to name a few.
To learn about this common sense bed bug approach for landlords and property management groups call us today 508-713-8267 .
Courtesy of Denise Donovan, founder of the International Bed Bug Resource Authority.