San Francisco Supervisors Tackle Bedbug Infestations, Problem Landlords

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)  — Legislation designed to make it easier for San Francisco to correct public health nuisances in rental property is moving forward with the Board of Supervisors.  The measure has prompted a debate over who should be held responsible for bed bug infestations.

The legislation would add new fines of up to $1,000 for property owners who do not correct health nuisances like garbage, mold, mildew, rat infestations, as well as bed bugs, which seem to be everywhere these days.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Property owner and Rent Board Commissioner Bart Murphy argued landlords shouldn’t be completely responsible for bedbugs.

“Landlords don’t go around their buildings shaking out little bags of bedbugs,” he said. “They’re typically caused by tenants.”

The health department insists tenants, as well as landlords could be held responsible for bedbugs under this measure.

Sarah Short, director of the Housing Rights Committee, said the whole bedbug debate missed the point.

“This ordinance is about overall enforcement of public health violations in housing,” she said. “It is not about bedbugs.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • oldfart

    , blame everything on the landlord, then fine them, no wonder apt. are disappearing in SF. next thing you know the landlord will be fined if a tenant gets STD, or cancer. the stupidvisors see landlords as nothing but little piggy banks to fund their pet projects.

    One pressing issue after the other

  • a

    i thought bed bugs are only in new york

  • tenderloinkid

    Totally agreed with you “oldfart”. Landlords are responsible for everything in SF, including getting rid of drug dealers on their building’s sidewalk to being responsible for tenants bringing in stuff with bedbugs that they pickup from sidewalks, no wonder no one wants to be landlord in SF. The tenants are the kings.

  • anibeth

    Why is this news.? I expect to read real news not this. We have bed bugs, so what is the big deal about it? If we have an influx of bubonic plagues from fleas, or squirrels let us know.

  • mark

    I don’t know how or why a tenant could be responsible for bedbugs per se except by accident. They feed off blood, not trash. I didn’t know my building was a big bedbug nest until after I moved in. About a year later I got them. I wondered why the assistant manager had sticky tape around his door – no big roach problem in the building. Now I know.

  • Jet

    I have lived in several buildings in SF with horrible landlords that didnt do squat…

    Health violations, fire hazards, roaches and the usual leaking afawcets no heaters etc…

    Landlords are making tons of money $2000 for a studio apartment yet fight over repairs, got to fight for your security deposits and getting them to get an exterminator…

    One cheap landlord I had told me to go to walgreens and get this roach spray when we needed the orkin man… when we moved, no return of security deposit… then the fire marshall came in shut down the place… all the other tenants had to move out with no where to go and the landlord refused to pay for their accomadations… glad we moved from that place…

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