If I signed a new lease for a bigger unit but as I was moving my stuff into new unit I saw tons of cockroaches, what can I do?

My lease ended 4 days ago. I signed a new lease for a bigger unit and paid an extra $300 deposit to transfer to it. I told the agent in the office about the roaches but was told that an exterminator couldn’t be out until tomorrow. I said I will not move rest of my stuff, especially dishes and food into unit until roaches are gone. The agent told me today, that the manger will charge me a daily rate for my old unit until I move my stuff into the infested unit. I want completely out of the new lease and not pay the daily rate for the unit am in, can move within a few days. What are my rights? Can I get full deposit back for both units? Break the new lease?

Asked on September 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are wise in not moving into the new rental due to the cockroach problem. Since the landlord's property manager has refused to remedy the vermin problem in a timely manner, I would contact your local health department and demand an inspection of the rental that you are to move into. Advise the health department of the problems you are having with the property manager.

Most likely the health inspector's look at the unit will remedy the infestation issue for you.

Your other option would be to consult with a landlord tenant attorney to see if you would be warranted in terminating your lease without recourse given the vermin infestation. Presently I would go with the health inspection option.

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