Bed Bugs And The Law: IREM’s Chuck Achilles at NAR 2011

Line art drawing of a bedbug.

The commercial real estate industry’s problem with bed bugs is only growing; some entomologists (that’s “bug scientists” to you and me) alarmingly predict that 50% of US residences will be infested with the persistent critters in a few years.  Bed bugs spread among multi-unit housing, and are also spread by travel to infested spaces, which can be as small as a single chair in a hotel lobby.  The health and legal consequences for owners, managers, operators, guests and residents apartment buildings, multi-family, hospitality, theaters and commercial properties of all stripes are huge and getting bigger.

The issue brought together a full house today in Room 206 at NAR Annual 2011 in Anaheim to hear a pair of experts in the session “. Leading off was Chuck Achilles, Chief Legislative and Research Officer, IREM (Institute Of Real Estate Management) addressed the regulatory side with a run through of the recent legislative and regulatory body pronouncements.

Chuck outlined the HUD Guidelines Aug 16 2011, (PDF link here) which spell out the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “Guidelines on Bed Bug Control And Prevention in HUD Insured And Assisted Multifamily Housing”.  These guidelines are important to read no matter what part of the industry you’re in, but can also have special consequences for properties financed through Fannie or Freddie.

Chuck Achilles said IREM’s October 2 Response to HUD’s Guidelines “agrees with [HUD’s] statement” and further mentioned that some owners of larger properties had seen bed bug remediation costs of “between 50 and 100 thousand dollars”.

Chuck went on to relate that according to the National Conference Of State Legislators, 13 stats so far have passed bed bug legislation and an additional 15 are considering measures, including a proposal in New York to provide a tax credit to replace personal property destroyed in bed bug remediation efforts.  In NYC 2008 9,213 instances of bed bug inquiries were logged, compared to a small few hundred in 2004.

Attorney and UNLV instructor Christian Hardigree followed.  A post covering her talk is here.

For a full recording of the talk, visit PlaybackNAR.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Leave a Reply