What to do if my whole apartment complex has cockroaches, and my landlord isn’t trying hard enough to get rid of them?

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What to do if my whole apartment complex has cockroaches, and my landlord isn’t trying hard enough to get rid of them?

I’ve lived in my apartment complex for the past 13 years, and since last year I’ve been dealing with a cockroach problem. My neighbors have been having the same problem and we’ve been talking to the landlord/renters agency and they have been making all of us pack up our whole apartment every 2-3 months so they can spray our apartment, but this hasn’t been helping, and they keep changing what they say and giving us false information than the exterminator that they hired to do this. Is there something I can do so they can just fumigate/tent our whole complex?

Asked on September 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your landlord is having a cockroach problem with the rental he has for you and others, he or she has an obligation under California law to provide safe and habitable premises to the tenants.

Since the cockroach problem seems to be a recurring issue the past year, it seems that your landlord needs to have a monthly eradication program for this and other vermin at your rental through a reputable exterminator (inside and out).

Th best way to try and resolve the problem is to have a meeting with the tenants, landlord and the exterminator to set up a program and plan on how to eliminate the problem so all will know how to proceed.

Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Oh my goodness.  What you have here is an extreme breach of what is known as the warranty of habitability.  In every lease there is an implied warranty that the apartment that you are renting will be free from bugs (cockroaches, bedbugs, etc.) and that the appliances and toilets, etc., will be in working order.  If this is not the case you have the right to take the landlord to court and to ask to pay your rent in to court until the problem is fixed and to ask for an abatement (reduction) in the rent until such time as the problem is fixed.  If the landlord can not fix the problem with in  a reasonable amount of the time then the court may give you the option to void your lease and walk away with out penalty.  Get help.  Good luck.


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