If I moved into an apartment at the first of the month and there is a cockroach infestation and I am allergic, how do I break the lease?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I moved into an apartment at the first of the month and there is a cockroach infestation and I am allergic, how do I break the lease?

I signed a 1 year lease and payed a hefty broker’s fee. The first night I noticed the cockroaches. The landlord sent a pest control person and they said I have a infestation problem. The roaches are still there after 2 pest sessions and a number of traps are set but I still get roaches. There might also be mites as I feel and noticed bites on my legs and arms. I just want out but don’t want to ruin credit and lose deposit, plus getting the broker fee back would be nice too. What can/should I do? I feel like I cannot spend another week in that place.

Asked on June 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  The mites and cockroaches are a health issue and therefore would constitute a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the  tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  You could also contact the local housing code inspector to bring an enforcement action against the landlord for housing code violations.  You may need to file a lawsuit to recover your security deposit and broker's fee if the landlord and broker are unwilling to refund those sums.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption