Last week I was interviewing a potential tenant, experienced in bed bugs, for my own building. She stated that she had looked at an apartment in a trendy/high price area of the city and the caretaker attempted to block the view of the bathtub. The potential tenant deliberately looked in the tub and saw a bed bug. I suggest that is the slimiest method of renting empty infested suites. There will come a day when we stand before our maker and we will answer for our actions. I would greatly dislike explaining my actions in that setting.
In my own experience I have found that honesty and forthrightness is the landlord’s best policy. An honest approach allows the landlord to educate the new tenant about bed bugs and protocols required for their eradication which, in turn, leads to better outcomes. The tenant can isolate his/her bed proactively, the dressers can be isolated preventing the infestation of clothing, and some items can even be left in storage until the problem is known to be gone. A suite with less clutter and furniture is also easier to treat.
A number of my landlord friends are following the same protocols and while a few tenants are turned away the majority are willing to try. I personally have rented three potentially infested suites with no difficulties. The tenants were a bit apprehensive but were confident that I could make them bug free and moved in anyways. And of course I followed through on my promises with extensive monitoring and treatments.
In the long run a landlord’s honesty will generate good will for the entire building which has an impact on vacancy and turn over costs. And the landlord does not have to answer uncomfortable questions before his God.