AB-551 Rental property: Bed bugs

Introduced by Assembly Member Nazarian (Van Nuys) in February, AB-551 passed 63-3 on June 9, 2015. This bill would prescribe the duties of landlords and tenants with regard to the treatment and control of bed bugs.  If this bill becomes law it will be in full effect by January 1, 2017.

The California Legislature finds and declares, ...”early detection and reporting of bed bugs is an important component required for preventing bed bug infestations”.

One of the key components of this bill would prohibit a landlord from renting or leasing a unit suspected of having a bed bug infestation. Section: 1954.17. “It is unlawful for a landlord to rent or lease, or offer to rent or lease, any vacant dwelling unit that the landlord knows or should reasonably know has a current bed bug infestation”. This is where tenant changeover inspection services can play a key roll in protecting landlords from litigation. 

Other key aspects of the bill that PCOs should be aware of:

  • Landlords will need written documentation of any bed bug treatment program.
  • Inspection means "an investigation using NPMA’s best management practices". Green Dog Pest Service has always implemented "NPMA's best management practices for canine bed bug detection.
  • Section 1954.1 Recognizes that, “Effective control is more likely to occur when landlords and tenants are informed of the best practices for bed bug control”. It further states in 1954.1 (d) “early detection and reporting of bed bugs is an important component required for preventing bed bug infestations”.  K9-assisted bed bug inspections can find infestations at the earliest onset!
  • Section 1954.11 “Bed bug management plan” means a written plan prepared by a pest control operator. (Pest control Operator means an individual with a Branch 2 license)
  • Section 1954.20 discusses the disposal of bed bug infested items and requires that any item being disposed of “shall securely seal the material in a plastic bag that is all of the following: (a) Of a size as to readily contain the disposed material. (b) Labeled as being infested with bed bugs. (c) Furnished as needed to the tenant by the property owner or pest control operator.

There are a great many details in this bill that should be reviewed by both PCO’s and property managers should it pass the senate and become law.  To read the bill in it’s entirety: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB551