Is my landlord resposible for compensating me for my roach infested belongings?

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Is my landlord resposible for compensating me for my roach infested belongings?

He has agreed to break my lease because i im not responsible fer the infestation. I am moving and can not bring the roaches wth me. I have to leave or discard most of my belongings due to the extent of infestation.

Asked on November 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord is most likely not responsible:

1) First, if the landlord has him/herself taken reasonable steps to try to deal with it (e.g. hired an exteriminator after the roaches were pointed out to him/her), then the landlord has fulfilled his/her duty and would not be liable. The law does not require landlords to be perfect and to have completely pest-free accomodations--just to take appropriate and reasonable steps.

2) The law also requires people to mitigate, or reduce, their losses or damages. Since items can be fumigated, cleaned, etc., while you could possibly recover for the cleaning cost, if liability were to be established against the landlord (see above), it is very unlikely that you could recover the replacement cost, when a court would likely deem you should have gone the less costly route of cleaning.


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