What are my rights as a tenant if I have reported a pill bug infestation problem3 times and the problem still isn’t fixed?

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What are my rights as a tenant if I have reported a pill bug infestation problem3 times and the problem still isn’t fixed?

We have lived in our apartment for 4 months and have had a pill bug infestation problem since we moved in. We have had to report it 2times and have had an exterminator come out both times. We moved the furniture in my son’s room to vacuum and found hundreds of them under his chair, bed, and changing table. We took pictures, showed our landlord and have now reported the problem a third time. We wantto move without paying the early lease termination fee and they said we can’t. They told me I had to give them a reasonable chance to fix the problem, although I feel I already have.

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

All warranties have what's called an "implied warranty of habitability," which is a term added to leases requiring that that the premises be fit for their intended purpose--i.e. residence. An insect infestation could violate this warranty, and it's violation *may* give you grounds to terminate the lease early without penalty. However, as your landlord indicates, the landlord must be given a reasonable chance to fix the problem. Sometimes problems are intractable and difficult to eradicate; in those cases, it may be enough for the landlord that he or she takes all the reasonable or acceptable steps. In this case, if the landlord brings in an exteriminator when an infestation is reported, that may be enough that you can't terminate the lease early; the landlord is taking reasonable steps. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your situation in detail, to see if under all its specific circumstances, you have a right to terminate or at least receive monetary compensation. Good luck.


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