NYC landlords facing harsher bedbug penalties

The News Leader

March 29, 2011 2:20:07 PM PDT
New York City officials have long been limited in what they could do to get negligent landlords to address the spread of bedbugs. But now city officials are announcing a policy change that could leave landlords facing harsher penalties.

The City Council and housing and health officials said Tuesday that when inspectors find bedbug infestations the city will now issue Health Department abatement orders that carry stiffer penalties than the violations handed out by housing officials.

The change means that officials can lay out guidelines for the kind of pest control strategies landlords should adopt and can require landlords to treat the apartments surrounding the one with the infestation. If landlords don't comply, the city could ultimately take liens out on their properties that can be sold to collectors.