New York, NY – Legislation sponsored by New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF, Manhattan) and Senator Jose Peralta (D/WF, Queens) that would force building owners to disclose a one-year history of bedbug infestations in their buildings to potential tenants passed both the Senate and the Assembly yesterday. The bill will now be submitted to the Governor’s desk for approval.
Rosenthal introduced the bill in response to the staggering number of constituent cases relating to bedbugs that her office has addressed in the past year. Landlords in non-compliance of a request for infestation history by a prospective tenant would be compelled by the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to produce this documentation.
Nearly 11,000 calls about bedbugs were made to 311 in 2009, compared with 537 in 2004. Confirmed infestations have also increased in New York City to 4,084 last year from 82 six years ago.
“I am gratified that we have finally woken up to the plague of bedbugs in New York City and the entire Eastern Seaboard,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal. “By passing legislation allowing prospective tenants to find out if their individual apartment or apartment building has had any bedbugs in the past year, we are giving New Yorkers the opportunity to make informed choices and fight back against the fear and disgust that bedbugs engender. As this law is implemented, I stand ready to assist my constituents and ensure that tenants are provided quick and comprehensive bedbug histories from their future landlords."
Assemblymember Rosenthal represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan and parts of Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.