Is there any way that I can legally break the lease for my apartment due to a pest infestation?

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Is there any way that I can legally break the lease for my apartment due to a pest infestation?

I just moved into an apartment 2 1/2 months ago. I have a severebrown recluse infestation problem. After first filing a request on-line with no response, I went to the leasing office to address the issue (2 weeks after moving in). A few days later, the pest control came and treated for the spiders. Prior to the treatment, I would say I found between 15-20, which I began to save in sandwich bags. Glue traps were put down after treatment and I would say they have caught 20-25 or more, as well as the ones I’ve killed. The health department has confirmed the problem but can’t do anything.

Asked on August 17, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to carefully read the terms of your written lease assuming you have one in that its terms control the obligations you owed the landlord and vice versa regarding the rented unit absent conflicting state law as to any of its provisions.

If you are on a month-to-month lease, you can simply give your landlord the required written notice to termnate your lease. If you are not on a written lease, the only way you would be able to end your lease due to the pest infestation is if the health department in the jurisdiction that you live in holds that the unit you are living in as "uninhabitable" or that there is a danger to your health because of the present pest issue.

Another option would be to write your landlord explaining the situation and see if he or she would voluntarily agree to cancel the balance of your lease's term due to the problems with the spiders. If so, then you have solved your problem.

Good luck.


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