IfI have a roach problem, canI request a new apartment?

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IfI have a roach problem, canI request a new apartment?

We have just moved into a 2 bedroom apartment and we have a roach problem. The exterminator has come out and sprayed but the problem is still very bad. I have an infant son who crawls everywhere but we cannot even put him on the floor because of the roaches. I have taken pictures. All they keep telling me are ways to keep my apartment clean. I don’t even like to be at home because of this. Last night while my son was asleep I happened to check on him and there was a roach in his bed. Can I request a new apartment?

Asked on August 17, 2011 Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Oh my goodness.  How unnerving it must be.  Bug infestation in a rental apartment breaches what is known as the Warranty of Habitability.  A landlord warrants that an apartment is habitable and free of bugs.  Although coming to exterminate is definitely something to the landlord's credit, once may not be enough to rid the home of the problem.  It is the landlord's obligation to do this and although it is true that you can help the situation by not leaving food around etc., it is really not your task to take care of.  So, what you need to do is to go down to your local landlord tenant court and ask to pay your rent in to court while the matter is resolved.  You start a proceeding citing the problem and the breach of the warranty.  You ask the court for an abatement (reduction) of the rent for the time that the problem remains unresolved.  And if it remains unresolved for a long time then you can ask to void the lease and move.  Good luck. 


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