Maintenance and Pest Control

How should maintenance problems be reported?
Maintenance problems should be reported to your landlord or property manager as soon as possible, follow-up in writing. Keep a copy of the notice for your own records. If the problem is not corrected in a prompt or satisfactory manner, you should report it to Westbrook Housing, in writing, for possible action. Call your program officer at (207) 854-9779.

What happens if your unit is infested with bedbugs?
The first step is to contact your landlord, as soon as possible, follow-up in writing. Keep a copy of the notice for your own records. You and others in the building will also have to take steps to help combat the problem. Pine Tree Legal Assistance website has some information about your responsibility.

What if bedbugs were present before you moved in?
It is illegal for a landlord to rent an apartment that he/she knows or suspects to have bedbugs. Under Maine law, the landlord must also tell you whether other nearby apartments in the building have bedbug problems. Before you rent an apartment, ask when the apartment and nearby units were last inspected for bedbugs. The landlord must give you an honest answer. Pine Tree Legal Assistance website has some information about the landlord’s responsibility.

What happens if my apartment is infected with bedbugs after I move in?
Tell your landlord immediately, preferably in writing, so you can document that you told him/her. Once notified, both of you must take these steps to fix the problem.

  • After you notify your landlord, he/she must inspect your apartment within five days.
  • Next, your landlord must contact a state-certified pest control expert within 10 days of inspecting and finding bedbugs.
  • Your landlord must take all reasonable steps to treat the problem, based on the expert’s advice.
  • Your landlord and the pest control expert will need access to your bed, furniture and other belongings. They must respect your privacy while making inspections to address the problem. You need to cooperate to get rid of the bedbugs. Your landlord must tell you the costs of your participation in the process.

What if I can’t afford the treatment?
To get rid of the bedbugs, you must move furniture and launder clothing and linens. If you cannot afford this or are not able to move furniture, the landlord can do that and charge you the costs.

What if my landlord does nothing?
If the landlord fails to follow Maine law, Westbrook Housing may stop paying housing assistance to him/her. For more information on tenants’ rights and bedbugs, go to Pine Tree Legal Assistance.

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