Bed Bug Addendum: What Does This Document Entail?

Bed bug infestations have become so rampant in certain areas and countries of the world that there is a need for the bed bug addendum to be added to the lease (formal agreements between landlord and tenant).

Although many frown at the idea of introducing this document in their lease, it should, however, be noted that this document is to protect not just the tenant but the landlord of the property as well.

Let us now find out what this document entails and how it can be used effectively to your advantage as a landlord/tenant.


What is a Bed Bug Addendum?

Bed Bug Addendum
Picture of a Well-Grafted Bed Bug Addendum PDF

A bed bug addendum is a document added to a lease in relation to bed bug policies and the terms under which these policies must stand. It is usually a formal agreement between the landlord and the tenant.

Are bed bug addendums common? Well, you must have heard of a bed bug addendum California or a bed bug addendum Texas. This is because this formal agreement is more common in the areas mentioned.

A well-documented bed bug addendum must comprise the following information:

  • Bed Bug Policy:

This is the course or principle of action adopted or proposed by the landlord in line with the bed bug addendum.

  • Landlord Certification:

The landlord must certify that the structure is free of bed bugs after a thorough inspection by pest control experts.

  • Financial Responsibility for Bed Bug Infestation:

The tenant is responsible for the bills if the bed bugs were brought in by him/her. If, after investigation, it is discovered that the bugs came from a neighboring structure, then the landlord will bear the financial responsibility.

  • Notification of Infestation:

It is required in the document that you notify the landlord of an infestation, as keeping quiet over it will be to your own detriment.

  • Pest Control Requirement:

After agreeing to the bed bug addendum, it is required that once an infestation is certain, expert pest control services be employed to eradicate these pests completely. Using DIY (Do It Yourself) methods will only quicken the spread of these bugs, hence requiring additional financial charges.

  • Eviction Requirement:

This is also part of the added lease document. If, after inspection, it is discovered that you are responsible for bringing in the bed bugs, the landlord can choose to give you an eviction notice.


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Should I Sign a Bed Bug Addendum?

Are bed bug addendums enforceable? Well, there is no compulsion to sign this document, but it is important that you do so, whether as a landlord or tenant.

Signing the bed bug addendum is not a must, but it is a necessity. Below are steps to take before and after signing a bed bug addendum:

  • Carry Out a Thorough Inspection of the Property:

Signing this document without a proper inspection of the property before moving in can be risky to the tenant and even the landlord.

Because of how sneaky bed bugs can be, it is advisable to employ the services of pest control experts to ensure that no place is left behind.

  • Carefully Read Through the Lease:

Many people tend to agree to some policies without going through them. One of these ignored policies is the terms and conditions policy attached to many products or software.

It is important that you carefully read through this document to ensure that you are well-informed on what you are getting into, the policies involved, and the things to be done.

Excuses for not having read through the addendum will not be tolerated, as it was meant to be read in the first place before agreements.


Why Do I Need a Bed Bug Addendum as a Landlord?

Controlling bed bugs comes with a lot of financial expenses that will require employing the services of expert pest control specialists.

A bed bug addendum is important for a landlord because this document will help reduce the financial cost of bed bug treatment if your tenant is responsible for introducing these bugs into the neighborhood.

The bed bug addendum is as important and useful to you as it is to your tenants. There is a saying that ‘prevention is better than cure’ and such is the case in this scenario.


Is a Landlord Required To Get Rid of the Bed Bugs?

As a landlord, you must ensure that your tenants have a comfortable stay on your property. Getting rid of the bed bug infestation is not the sole responsibility of the landlord, but it will be if:

  • The tenant informs you (early) of the infestation via written notes.
  • The infestation was not introduced by the tenant or his/her guests.
  • The tenant has been complying with the rules and regulations set by the landlord. That includes paying the rent when it is due.


Read also: Bed Bug Bites Hawaii: Symptom, Treatment & Prevention


Why Do I Need a Bed Bug Addendum as a Tenant?

As a tenant, this addendum must be added to the lease given to you. Most tenants frown at the idea of this being introduced in a lease because they are probably not used to this formal agreement or are scared of the consequences that follow.

The strict rules and obligations contained in this document are only to ensure the safety of both landlord and tenant and prevent undeserved financial spending.

A bed bug addendum shows the love and commitment that the landlord has for its tenants, as he/she is ready to take full responsibility for whatever financial costs may occur (as a result of bed bugs) during your stay in his/her property.

It is kind of a guarantee document to notify you of the landlord’s strong will to no bedbug here. This document is very important for people living in California, Texas, Philadelphia, etc., as these bugs are more prevalent in these areas.


How To Ensure That Your Bed Bug Addendum is Effective as a Tenant

Sometimes innocent tenants take the blame for introducing bed bugs into a property, which is most of the time false. This is why both the tenant and landlord must sign a bed bug addendum before moving into the property.

Below are important steps that must be noted to ensure that your bed bug addendum is effective as a tenant:

  • A saying goes that “a closed mouth is a closed destiny“. Before moving into a property, it is important that you ask questions, as these may one day help you avoid future problems.
    You should ask the landlord and even the neighbors you came to meet there if there have been experiences of bed bug infestations in the past. If yes, then include this information in the lease.
    If a bed bug infestation erupts in the future, this information can come in handy.
  • It is important that when an infestation occurs, you inform the landlord, as keeping quiet about it will be to your own detriment. When you discover an infestation:
    • Write about it in a letter to your landlord and date it.
    • Send the letter via mail to your landlord.
    • Whether the landlord responds or not, keep a receipt of this mail to serve as evidence that you did notify your landlord of the situation.
  • If, after forwarding the mail to your landlord, he/she does not respond within a week, it is your right to report this to the following agencies:
    • Code inspector
    • Private pest control company
    • Your local board of health
      If after inspection it is discovered that there is truly an infestation, you must send another letter (dated) to your landlord asking for immediate action.


What To Do If a Landlord Does Not Comply With the Bed Bug Addendum

Bed Bug Addendum
The Bed Bug Addendum Will Prevent the Need To Argue With Your Landlord Over a Bed Bug Infestation Issue

Even though the bed bug addendum is like a peace threat, there still are people who will want to prove stubborn even when they know they are wrong.

As we mentioned earlier, a landlord is meant to reply to your letter of notification of bed bug activities in your property within a week. Some landlords may choose to ignore these letters or act less concerned about the situation.

If this seems to be the case, it is advisable to report them to the agencies previously mentioned above or even sue them in court, where they will be forced to pay back for all expenses spent during the course of this infestation and also employ the services of certified pest control exterminators.


Read also: Bed Bug Temperature Chart: How To Use Effectively



The bed bug addendum is a very important document that has proven to be effective, especially in areas or regions that have suffered great infestations of bed bugs.

Although some people (tenants and landlords) complain that the policies of this document are rather harsh, this document is only to ensure the safety of the occupants of the property and the owners as well.

Failure to comply with these policies will attract huge costs, and of course, no one will want this to happen to them, so you (the tenant or landlord) must comply.

What do you think of the bed bug addendum? Do you think this document is rather unnecessary? Let us know via the comments section below!

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