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Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a growing national problem, and as a result, this policy has been created for both the Public Housing program and the Housing Choice Voucher program. The purpose of this policy is to set forth the roles and responsibilities of all parties (NHA, Tenant, and Landlord) in minimizing the potential for bed bugs. The policy will also provide guidance in cases where bed bugs are present to eliminate them as quickly as possible.

Bed bugs are difficult to contain without the proper treatment. Therefore, it is imperative that all parties (NHA, Tenant, and Landlord) work simultaneously toward a common goal, extermination, and elimination. Left untreated bed bugs can spread throughout a residence affecting current and future tenants.

Housing Choice Voucher Program

Landlord Roles and Responsibilities:

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract requires the landlord to maintain the contract unit and its premises in accordance with Housing Quality Standards (HQS). If bed bugs are present, it is the responsibility of the landlord, as stated in the HQS (CFR 982.401), to ensure that the dwelling unit and its equipment be insanitary condition and free of vermin and rodent infestation. To comply with the HQS, if the presence of bed bugs is suspected, the landlord must notify the NHA immediately, and it is strongly recommended that the landlord contact an extermination professional for an immediate inspection. If the landlord chooses to perform their own initial inspection, NHA has created a "Landlord Inspection Checklist" that may assist in the assessment of potential problems. If treatment is deemed necessary, a copy of the contract the landlord entered into with the extermination professional (including all treatment performed) must be provided to NHA by the landlord within 48 hours of the initial determination that treatment is required. In addition, the landlord must complete the "Landlord Certification Statement" document and send it to NHA within 72 hours of the initial determination that treatment is required.

Failure to comply with the above requirements is a direct violation of the HAP contract and may result in abatement, suspension, or termination of housing assistance payments, termination of the HAP contract, and suspension of eligibility to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher program.


Tenant Roles and Responsibilities:

The HAP contract requires the tenant to keep the unit and its premises free from damage. Therefore, if the presence of bed bugs is suspected, it is the tenant's responsibility to notify the landlord and NHA immediately in order to minimize any potential damage to the unit. In addition, it is the responsibility of the tenant to work cooperatively with the landlord and/or extermination professionals to ensure the successful elimination of bed bugs. Tenant non-compliance may result in the loss of their Housing Choice Voucher.

If the tenant notifies the landlord of the presence of bed bugs and the landlord fails to take action within a reasonable period of time, the tenant should notify NHA, and NHA will assist the tenant in relocation if it is deemed necessary and appropriate. Prior to relocation, NHA will notify the new landlord of the tenant's prior exposure to bed bugs. In addition, the tenant must complete all items on the "Relocation Task List" document.

NHA Roles and Responsibilities:

NHA will ensure the landlord maintains the unit within HQS guidelines and provide guidance on the resolution of any potential bed bug problems. NHA will assist in tenant relocation, including the scheduling of moves, if it has been determined that relocation is necessary and appropriate. When relocation is necessary, NHA will ensure the tenant completes the "Relocation Task List" prior to relocation in order to minimize the transfer of bed bugs to the new unit. NHA will also require all program participants and landlords to disclose at intake, recertification, and inspection all exposure to bed bugs within the last twelve-month period.

Public Housing program

NHA Roles and Responsibilities:

Upon notification from the tenant, NHA will perform an initial inspection of the tenant's residence using the "Central Maintenance Tracking Sheet." If it is determined that bed bugs are present, NHA will provide the tenant with the "NHA & Tenant Roles and Responsibilities" document. The above document will be explained to the tenant to ensure understanding and compliance prior to treatment. In addition, NHA will secure the tenant's signature, indicating understanding of the document. Upon successful completion by the tenant of their roles and responsibilities, NHA will professionally treat the residence and perform follow-up to ensure treatment was successful.

To educate tenants and minimize the potential for the presence of bed bugs, NHA has created a "Prevention Tips" document.

Tenant Roles and Responsibilities:

HUD regulations require the tenant's cooperation to successfully eliminate the presence of bed bugs. Therefore, it is the tenant's responsibility to call in a work order as soon as the presence of bed bugs is suspected. This will allow NHA to address the potential infestation at its onset and before it affects other tenants. If it is determined by NHA that bed bugs are present, the tenant must complete all items listed on the "NHA & Tenant Roles and Responsibilities" prior to treatment and as soon as possible. This will help to minimize the severity of the bed bug presence and resolve the problem quickly. A tenant may be deemed to be in violation of Section 8; Subpart N of the lease agreement if they fail to fully cooperate and comply with their roles and responsibilities, and the tenant will be charged for retreatment after the second occurrence.

Bed Bug Policy Attachments 

  • Housing Choice Voucher program:
    • Landlord Inspection Checklist - This document is provided as a reference only. If the presence of bed bugs is suspected and you are not comfortable inspecting the unit thoroughly, you should consider contacting an extermination professional. 
    • Relocation Task List
    • Landlord Certification Statement
  • Public Housing program:
    • Central Maintenance Tracking Sheet

Please contact our office for the attachments above.