Can we get out of our lease without penalties if the landlord failed to disclose a roach infestation?

UPDATED: May 22, 2012

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Can we get out of our lease without penalties if the landlord failed to disclose a roach infestation?

We have been in an apartment for 12 days. The day after we received keys we found roaches. We asked to break the lease, the managers said not without paying thousands of dollars in buyout fees and concession fees. They told us they would spray but said they had no way of knowing there was a roach infestation. I spoke with my neighbor afterwards and he said they have known up to a month before we moved in of a roach infestation and failed to tell us this before we signed the lease. We would not have signed the lease had we known of the infestation. We feel we shouldn’t have to pay the penalties.

Asked on May 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

How horrible for you.  You landlord has a duty surely now that you are in the apartment and you need to start there first.  Go to landlord tenant court first and ask them to start an action regarding a breach of the warranty of habitability and ask for a rent abatement and to pay your rent in to court.  Also add that you wish the court to render the lease void since there was fraud in the inducmene toto contract or misrepresentation at the least. You can not render the lease void. Only a JUdge can. Good luck.

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