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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.