Can I break my lease due to bed bugs infestation?

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Can I break my lease due to bed bugs infestation?

Asked on January 11, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I assume that you have notifid your landlord about the problem. If not, do so. The costs of exterminationg for such a problem is borne by a landlord (unless the tenant is responsible for the infestation). If you have informed your landlord and they have done nothing to correct th problem or the effort have done no good, then the "warranty of habitability" has been breached. This is an implied gurantee in every residential lease that the rental premises will be in a safe and sanitary condition; a bed bug infestation would be covered by this. Additionally, most  states specifically prohibit landlords from renting units known to have current bed bug infestations.

Accordingly, such an infestation would be grounds for breaking your lease; you would incur no further liability. However, you gave no details of your situation. Accordingly, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant cases or at least a tenant's rights group for further information regarding your specific state law.


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