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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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. 


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