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OLR Research Report


September 2, 2010 2010-R-0375

OLR BACKGROUNDER: BEDBUG LEGISLATION-NEW YORK

By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney

This backgrounder provides information on recently enacted New York legislation on bedbug infestation.

SUMMARY

The New York Legislature recently passed two laws addressing New York City's bedbug infestation. One law requires certain New York City schools to inform families of any bedbug infestations found in school. The second requires city landlords to disclose any history of bedbug infestation of a property to possible tenants before leasing the property.

NEW YORK BEDBUG LEGISLATION

Schools

New York legislation signed into law on August 30, 2010 by Governor Patterson requires city school districts with a population of one million or more to notify parents of any bedbug infestations found in a school. Specifically, the principal of each public school must provide immediate notice to the parents or persons in parental relation with a student if bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) have infested the school.

Along with the notification, the principal must include information on proper procedures to prevent (1) further infestations at the school and (2) prevent the transfer of bedbugs from the school to students' residences. This information may be developed by the board of education in consultation with other city agencies and must be available in various

languages. The principal must also ensure that the infestation is properly addressed in the most effective and safe manner (Chapter 426; Assembly Bill 5434, Senate Bill 4472).

Landlord and Tenant

Chapter 477, signed into law on August 30, 2010, requires owners or lessors of real property within New York City to provide bedbug infestation history for the previous year to potential lessees before the property is leased (A 10356-B; S 8130).

The law specifies that for housing accommodations, a property owner must give each tenant signing a lease a notice that provides the property's bedbug infestation history for the previous year for both the premises being rented and the building in which the premises are located. The State Division of Housing and Community Renewal must develop or approve the notice form.

The housing division must order that the owner provide the notice to any tenant who makes a written complaint that he or she did not receive it.

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