Q: Is there a law in Minnesota that requires a building/management company to communicate bedbug occurrences to all residents living there, as well as providing them with prevention tips?
A: Depending on the city your building is located in, there may be a city ordinance pertaining to notifying tenants of any bedbug incidents. In Minneapolis, for example, an ordinance pertains to bedbugs or other pest infestations. It states that every owner of a building consisting of two or more units is responsible for "extermination of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises." However, this city ordinance does not state that the owner or landlord must inform the other tenants if a bedbug incident has been reported.
Minnesota law requires a landlord to keep the building in reasonable repair, except when the disrepair has been caused by the tenant.
You should check the ordinances in the city in which your building is located. If there isn't one pertaining to bedbugs, insects or other pests, then you need to follow Minnesota law, which requires owners or landlords to repair the damage, but doesn't indicate that you need to give notice to the other tenants about the infestation. Owners or landlords typically need to pay for the cost of extermination, except when they are able to prove that their tenant's negligence caused the bedbug infestation.
Kelly Klein is a Minneapolis attorney. Participation in this column does not create an attorney/client relationship. Do not rely on advice in this column for legal opinions. Consult an attorney regarding your particular issues. E-mail renting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Kelly Klein c/o Star Tribune, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55488. Information provided by readers is not confidential.