What is the procedure for terminating a lease due to a bed bug infestation?

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What is the procedure for terminating a lease due to a bed bug infestation?

I am a graduate student and my wife, baby and I are renting an apartment. However, it has a couple of issues. The bed bugs were the biggest one. The landlord did call the exterminator but we sent an email asking for medical reimbursement, which was denied. So we want to terminate the lease contract. What are our rights and what is the correct procedure?

Asked on December 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Did you know there were bed bugs when you moved in? Did the bed bugs make the place uninhabitable (some argue these little critters do especially when you have an infant).  If you suffered medical damages that are provable by receipts for things like co-pays, and prescription medication and the like, you should be able to take it off your rent but check with your local consumer protection agency that handles landlord tenant matters to verify.  But non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering, the plain yuckies and so on) are probably not something you can easily quantify into a dollar amount unlike a hard cost.  I am not sure if the refusal of medical reimbursement is simply enough at this point to terminate your lease, especially if the bed bug infestation has been rectified.


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