Until recently, bedbugs had been largely eliminated from the U.S homes and businesses. However, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated the use of dangerous chemicals that were used to exterminate the insects, they began infesting homes and buildings from coast to coast in record numbers. According to a 2013 study conducted by the National Pest Management IT Consultancy London Association (NMPA) and the University of Kentucky, over 99 percent of U.S. pest management companies have treated homes or buildings for bedbugs in the past year.
Unless the insects are exterminated promptly after they are discovered, occupants of the home or building that they infest are subject to attacks from the insects, which put HOA management companies in the position of determining what course of action should be taken to solve the problem. Eliminating bedbugs can be expensive. However, as providers of HOA management services can attest, extermination may not be as expensive as letting the problem remain. Many people have successfully sued the party that is responsible for not addressing a pest infestation.
Assessing an Infestation
It is often impossible to know how bedbugs arrived in a property. However, when new occupants of property report the presence of the insects shortly after they move into the property, the chance that the pests were there from the previous occupants is high. That is why some states have laws that require landlords to treat a property for bedbugs if the problem is reported in writing within the first few weeks of occupancy. What can happen when the problem isn’t addressed recently played out in a Maryland courtroom, where a woman was awarded $800,000 for her landlord’s failure to treat her residence for bedbugs.
Could homeowner’s associations face a similar predicament if they fail to treat an infested property after a new resident reports the problem? Because pest control costs are typically included in a resident’s assessment fees, many HOA management companies think the answer is yes. If your association receives a complaint about bedbugs when a new homeowner arrives, having an HOA management services provider resolve the problem is the best course of action.
With the recent upsurge in bedbug infestations, many states have taken measures to protect people from moving into infested properties. This means that homeowners associations should coordinate a plan with their HOA management companies to address the problem quickly when it arises. For assistance selecting a vendor for pest extermination, contact a provider of HOA management services today.