A new law has gone into effect requiring landlords to disclose to prospective tenants any history of bedbug infestation in the apartment building and individual unit within the past year. The law has some people in the real estate industry a tad concerned that the stigma of bed bugs will leave them stuck with empty units, but at least nobody's resorting to hysterical hyperbole. "This is like AIDS in the beginning,"says Gus Waite, vice president of rentals at The Real Estate Group of New York. "They just skeeve people out totally." (Somewhere in New York, an aspiring playwright is hard at work on Bedbugs in America: Millennium Recedes)
Speaking to Brick Underground, Waite describes the new law as a "scarlet letter" and wonders "what are the landlords going to do?" now that they have to tell tenants their building is cursed with the infamously resilient blood-sucking parasites. (Speaking of AIDS, even that doesn't kill the bastards.) What landlords are going to do, Waite suspects, is offer apartments at discounted rates. How low would your rent have to be to move into a building that has had bedbugs, which can sometimes live for over a year between feedings? Looking at it from another angle, how much extra are you willing to pay to score a fancy, bedbug-free domicile?