Can I terminate my lease before I move in because of a roach infested apartment?

I just signed our lease for an apartment. I did the walk-through afterwards and found a roach infestation. Went back and told them about it and they said they knew about it and have been working on it for a while. I have not moved in yet. What are my legal rights here? Can I terminate my lease or do I have to move into a roach infested apartment?

Asked on July 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The landlord's obligation is to take reasonable steps to cure a pest infestation (or other condition negatively impacting habitability) after being provided notice of the condtion. The landlord is not required to not have a pest infestation in the first place, just to address it. If the landlord states they are working on the problem, you could not break your lease yet and would have to move in. You could only break your lease if after some period of time they are unable to and/or do not try to remediate the problem--and if it's severe enough in the first place (it has to be so bad as to make it effectively impossible or unhealthy to live there; a few roaches would not allow you to terminate the lease).

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