The landlord of the Bel Air Court Apartments in Columbus, Ohio is requiring tenants to sign pest control addendums. These contracts serve as riders to the original lease agreement and the purpose is to put the responsibility of bed bug infestation on the tenant.
Upon renewal of a tenant's lease, the landlord is requiring the tenant to sign this bed bug addendum, attesting to the fact that their apartment is bed bug free. If bed bugs become present in the tenant's apartment at a future date, the tenant is then responsible for the cost of extermination, both inside and outside of their apartment, if the bed bugs have spread. In addition, the tenant's lease will be terminated immediately.
The idea of holding the tenant accountable for bed bugs is fair, but this pest control addendum goes a little overboard. To make the tenants pay for the cost of extermination and then terminate their lease is ridiculous. If the tenant is willing to pay for the cost of extermination, there is no need to terminate their lease.
Bed bugs can be brought in from anywhere. Just sitting in a movie theatre or on a bus can allow you to bring bed bugs home. This landlord may have a hard time filling vacancies in the future if all tenants have to sign this addendum. Few tenants will feel comfortable renting under such aggressive terms.Suggested Reading:
The 5 Basics You Must Include in a Lease
Common Lease Clauses and Lease Riders
Sample Move Out Checklist