What constitutes an “uninhabitable premises” regarding an infestation?

I moved into an apartment 2 months agoand I signed a 1 year lease. I noticed a major flea infestation. The landlord claimed the carpets were cleaned but they won’t show receipts. It is obvious they were never cleaned. I contacted the landlord and they said they will cover all costs. I gave them an estimate and they told me they would handle it with a local company and give me a call when they figure things out. If they take more than 30 days can I break my lease because of how uninhabitable the apartment has been?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The typical manner to determine whether or not premises are uninhabitable is for the local health department to inspect the unit and write up a report concerning its findings where the unit is determined to be able to be occupied by humans or not. I suggest that this may be the course you may wish to take as to the rental that you are writing about.

I would also send a letter to your landlord advising of the need to take care of the flea infestation by a certain date and that the unit be cleared for occupation by then. If it is not, then you deem that there has been a material breach of your lease by the landlord. Keep a copy of your letter for future need and reference.


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