If my roommate bug bombed the apartment without telling me, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2011

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If my roommate bug bombed the apartment without telling me, what are my rights?

I have a roommate that’s letting me rent a room at his place so I’m not on the lease. Since I moved the place has had a roach infestation. I’ve sprayed poison but nothing works. He kept telling me to bug bombs but I told him no because I’m sensitive. He ignored that and without permission or even telling me he opened my room and smoked it with poison all over my stuff. I couldn’t even stay in the room that night and Ibe got sick cause I drank some water from the fridge before even noticing the empty bomb shells. Anyway, the roaches are still here. After getting my privacy invaded I want to move.

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may not have any effective remedies or recourse, unfortunately:

1) Since it was your roommate, not the landlord, who did this, you almost certainly cannot terminate your lease and move out. As a general matter, only when the landlord has impaired habitability or vioated the lease in some significant way can you legally terminate your lease.

2) In theory, if you roommate's negligence or carelessness injured you, you could sue him for your injuries or medical costs. However, given the cost of a lawsuit, it is very unlikely--unless you suffered some significant medical costs--that it would be worthwhile going to this step.

The law does not provide a practical remedy for every wrong done to us, unfortunately. 

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.

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