So your tenant's just moved in and they are calling regarding bed bugs - can you hold them responsible??? Can you assume that THEY brought the bed bugs in?? Not unless you want to risk paying high damages in court! Not only are landlords responsible for treatment BUT they are responsible to disclose upfront if a property may have a bed bug infestation. There is a bit of good news however in that as part of the bed bug treatment you can require the tenant to comply with a bed bug check list which includes the following:
1. Remove all clothing from furniture
2. Bag all clothing items
3. Remove bedding from bed
4. Remove all clutter from rooms
5. Throw away mattresses or purchase mattress covers
All clothes need to be sent through the dryer on high heat to kill all stages of bed bugs - prior to doing so, sort by color so you don't have to sort after. Also, be sure that dryer isn't overloaded with each load. After the clothes go through the dryer, place them in new bags so that none of the bed bugs or eggs transfer to the dried clothes.
Additionally, if you decide not to use professional property management services, make sure that you are doing regular inspections of the property to ensure it remains clutter free thereby reducing the risk of a re-visit of the annoying bugs.