Landlords furious over possible bedbug disclosure law


Landlords are furious over a new bill that would require them to make bedbug infestations public.

The bill, which is expected to be approved by the City Council Tuesday, would force landlords to file infestation histories with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and to either publicly post histories in buildings or distribute them to tenants.

The city agency would also have to post the information on its site.

“This bill will needlessly alarm tenants that would otherwise not have to be concerned or be worried about an infestation in their building,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords.

Strasburg noted that building owners are already required under state law to notify new tenants of an apartment’s bedbug history.

But the council bill aims to do more.

It would require landlords to notify tenants not only when a new lease is signed, but for lease renewals as well.

The bill’s sponsor, Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Queens), said he introduced it two years ago after numerous complaints.

“What we were finding out was that a number of the people were [on] renewal leases,” he said. “So what we wanted to do was to fix it so that those who have renewal leases could also find out whether there were bedbugs in their building.”

Landlords would not be required to specify which apartments are or have been infested, but would have to report the number of units with a history of bedbugs.

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