If we moved into a mobile home a month ago but we still have a bug problem, what can I do legally?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If we moved into a mobile home a month ago but we still have a bug problem, what can I do legally?

When we signed the lease we told the landlord an exterminator needed to come out before we moved in. Well he did and that was a month ago, then 3 weeks ago he was called back out but with little results. Can I by law hire my own exterminator, purchase bug poison like bombs and motels and deduct this from my rent? I have 3 small children and the bank and landlords seem to respond like well that’s not legal or they don’t even have to fix this problem.

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs (contact an exterminator in your case) and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant remains on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The bug infestation is a health issue and therefore is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  Another alternative is to contact the local housing code inspector who can take action against the landlord to comply with the housing code.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption