Tenant Dispute - Bed bugs!

Hi all, find myself in a bizarre situation & would welcome your thoughts.
In brief - Did full refurb - new bathroom, kitchen, carpets, decorations throughout by a reputed contractor. Let to a foreign student in December 2022 on an unfurnished basis. No regular income so took 6 months rent in advance.
3 weeks into the new tenancy - tenant emails saying she is being bitten by bed bugs! I explained flat was let on an unfurnished basis so she may have brought in with her furniture clothes etc. Offered her professional bed bug treatment which she refused. Offered her early penalty free release and rent refund from the date of checkout but she wants refund of all rent and deposit other threatening to take me to court. There is no proof of infestation prior to her tenancy.
So she wants free housing alleging the property is uninhabitable due to bed bugs which she likely brought in herself. Wonder what the judge will think about this if I get my day in court! She is still holding on to keys!

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Bed bugs can hide under skirting boards and floorboards, but if it was a full refurb, that seems less likely. If you intend to refuse her demand, (which I would also baulk at), then I suggest you contact the previous tenant and get something in writing stating whether they had any problem with bed bugs before they left. You would then have reasonable evidence of no problem before she rented.


I am pursuing the previous tenants for damages caused as they wrecked the place. The current tenant has managed to get hold of the previous tenants who are making false allegations of infestation in the flat during their tenancy. Clearly they are not pleased about being pursued for the damage.

There is no evidence of any infestation previously reported.

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Is there evidence of an infestation now? Have you sent in a professional?

I haven’t sent a professional as the tenant is not allowing access. I know there is some form of infestation as the tenant has provided receipt of a single treatment she has had done. The company she used said a minimum of 2 treatments but she hasn’t had the 2nd one done.

I’d make a couple of further attempts to arrange for a professional to visit and keep evidence of the refusals and then re-state your offer and leave it at that.

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Just curious the outcome of this.