If I have been paying for pest control since we moved into our rented condo 1 year ago but I’m am still seeing roaches, is that grounds to break the lease?

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If I have been paying for pest control since we moved into our rented condo 1 year ago but I’m am still seeing roaches, is that grounds to break the lease?

Also, I have an 8 month old who crawls around on the floor and I’m stressed about him possibly being near a roach.

Asked on September 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is how bad are the roaches? A landlord is not required to be perfect--i.e. to be pest free--only to take reasonable steps to control pests. Unless the pests are so bad as to actually make the apartment uninhabitable in the eyes of the average person, there are no grounds for compensation or to break a lease without penalty. If the infestation is bad enough as to render the apartment uninhabitable, and the landlord does not remediate the condition after written notice and a reasonable chance or opportunity to do so, then you might have grounds to terminate your lease for a violation of the implied warranty of habitability.


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