If I moved into an apartment building that is infested with bed bugs, can I break my lease?

I moved in at the beginning of the month and learned a couple days later that the 50 unit building is infested with bedbugs. I called the landlord, who gave me the number to his exterminator, who confirmed to me that the building has a known bed bug problem. If the landlord treats my unit but refuses to deal with the whole building, do I have grounds to break my year lease that I just signed a month ago? If my unit has been sprayed twice but I am still seeing bed bugs, can I send my landlord a written 14 day notice that I plan to move, and not be responsible for breaking my lease?

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is to file an action against your landlord in landlord tenant court alleging a breach of the warranty of habitability, ask the court to pay your rent in to court, for an abatement (reduction) of the rent and to void the lease if the problem exists beyond a reasonable time.  You can not render your lease void and just give notice and leave.  Only a judge can do that. Get help.  Good luck.

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