Can I take my landlord to court because she gave us an apartment with mold and bed bugs?

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Can I take my landlord to court because she gave us an apartment with mold and bed bugs?

Asked on June 4, 2014 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The laws vary from state-to-state regarding this issue. That having been said, the general rule is that the landlord must pay for the extermination of bedbugs. It is an infestation much the same as mice, roaches, etc. This obligation has to do with what is called the "implied warranty of habitability." This is a guarantee implied in residential leases which requires that the premises be deliveredaand maintained in a safe and sanitary condition (i.e  "habitable") and this includes pest or bug infestations.

Note:  If a landlord violates this warranty, there are several remedies that you can undertake: suing for monetary damages; paying yourself to fix and repair the problem and then deducting the cost from your rent; getting a court order forcing the landlord to correct the situation; and/or being able to terminate your lease without penalty.

You should consult with a lawyer that specializes in landlord-tenant matters or contact a tenant's rights group in your area.

Shawn Jackson / The Jackson Law Firm, P.C.

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, in most states a landlord has the affirmative obligation to work towards making a residential leased premises "habitable" relativelyy clear of mold and pests. You will want to contact your local residential tenant  housing board...and an attorney of your choice.

Shawn Jackson California Business Development Attorney

 


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