What are a tenant’s rights regarding a roach problem that started 1 1/2 years after the initial move in date?

What are the obligations of the landlord if after 1 1/2 years of living, tenant finds roaches and there have been no prior findings? Who would be responsible landlord or tenant for paying for the initial extermination and then quarterly maintenance?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Residential leases have what's known as an "implied warranty of habitability". This means that a rental  must be safe and sanitary. This includes being free from pests and vermin, like cochroaches. Therefore, your landlord is responsible for extermination. In fact, if necessary, you could seek a court order forcing your landlord to bring in an exterminator. And a very bad infestation might allow you to terminate the lease. Of course, this all assumes that you have done nothig to have caused the problem, such as not keeping your unit clean.

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