Q: Landlord not addressing bed bug infestation. What are my rights?
I rent 2 bedrooms in a 3 bdrm home with landlord in 3rd room. I have not left the house since March when the pandemic started and he was out and about daily. He will not call exterminator or address problem. Gave me a can of raid one time then 2 days later said problem was fixed. All bugs are in his room and on his loveseat that can be seen. I am now getting bit nightly, am sleep deprived and feel like I'm going crazy mentally. What rights do I have?
A: The following response is in accordance with NJ statutes and case law. Did the Landlord obtain a certificate of habitability from the municipality at the time of the commencement of the lease term? If the landlord failed to do so, he could be subject to certain penalties. A call to the municipal Board of Health and the municipal Clerk may result in the Landlord taking quick action to cure. In any event, is there a written lease or an oral lease. In either case that is the covenant of quiet enjoyment which would mean that the Landlord is responsible for correcting the problem. You may also escrow your rent payments until the onfestation is resolved. Speak to a local attorney or legal aid office for details.
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