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

Answers:

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.


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.