What are my rights regarding a roach infestation?

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What are my rights regarding a roach infestation?

I’ve lived in this apartment for almost a year and never seen 1 cockroach. I just signed another lease for 16months. Just days later, management bombed a roach infested apartment next door to me without letting me know so that I could have the option to bomb at the same time. Instead I had to wait a week for help and the roaches had babies at my place. Now I can’t seem to get rid of them all. I’ve been put off and lied to concerning this issue as well. Can I brake my lease?

Asked on June 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You probably can't break your lease yet. It seems, from what you wrote, that you did not previously have a roach problem, so this is not a case of the landlord persistently ignoring an issue affecting health and habitability. If there is a problem now, the landlord must be given a chance to address it, and you should provide written notice of the problem and a request it be fixed. (Send the notice in some way that you can prove delivery.) If the landlord refuses to address the issue, then that may give you grounds to sue for compensaton; to withhold rent to pay for extermination; and/or to terminate your lease. However, before doing any of the above, consult with an attorney, because while you have rights, if you  withhold rent or break a lease in the wrong way, you can yourself liable to the landlord instead.


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