What are my rights if I just moved into apartment and have been having a really bad pest problem?

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What are my rights if I just moved into apartment and have been having a really bad pest problem?

The landlord had the apartment sprayed four times and the roaches are still here. I’ve have made complaints and have asked the landlord to revise the lease from a 12 months to a 6 months .It’s becoming a big problem because my child has a really bad breathing condition. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve asked the landlord to revise the lease. The landlord is not responding. What should I do now?

Asked on November 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In all residential leases there is what is known as an "implied warranty of habitability". This means that a rental must be safe and sanitary. This includes being free from pests and vermin, such as roaches. What you can do is to go to court and seek "injunctive relief"; that is a court order forcing the landlord to bring in a professinal exterminator. However, the problem is that since your landlord is attempting to take care of the problem in a reasonable way, then they are not be doing anything wrong (whether or not a professional should be called in is a matter for the judge to determine). The fact is that a landlord's obligation is to take reasonable steps when informed of a problem, which arguably they are doing. A very bad infestation might permit you to terminate the lease due to uninhabirable living conditions but some cockroaches would likely not rise to that level. Bottom line, you may just have to live with them.


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