Can we legally break a lease due to bed bugs or do we have to let the landlord try to treat it himself?

We are renting a house that we found bed bugs in we informed the landlord and he got an inspection which confirmed that they are here. While on the phone he said that the people who lived here before us had told him about the problem and all he did was change the carpet and paint the walls. He has already said he wont pay a professional but would maybe spray it himself and is asking what we want to do. We had been gone for the weekend and the first night home our daughter had 60 bites.

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Every lease in almost every state includes the "implied warranty of habitability."  The landlord has to make the premises live-able.  If his efforts don't work, then you can break the lease.  In addition, there is another concept called "contructive ouster" where if the landlord is notified of a significant problem, is given time to fix it, and fails, then you have another basis for terminating the lease and leaving. 

Best of luck.

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