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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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I have lived in my apt. years. The neighbors next to

Customer Question

I have lived in my apt. for 2 years. The neighbors next to me moved in after, then moved in less than a year. No roaches until they moved. Now my apt. is getting infested, I have copd and an anxiety disorder and am absolutely miserable'. He took the lowest bid for exterminator and they are worse than ever after 4 months. Another lady in another building moved in a year ago and had them immediately. They have been treating her apt. for just over a year. She also has copd.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
General Landlord Duties
1) Make the property habitable (safe and healthy to live in) before you move in and maintain property in a habitable condition while you live there.
2) Make repairs as required by the lease, local, state or federal law.
One way to avoid problems with repairs is to have a written agreement, preferably in your lease. The agreement should state which repairs are the landlord's responsibility and which are the tenant's.
The landlord should be responsible for repairs caused by ordinary wear and tear and natural forces such as the weather. Tenants should pay for damages resulting from their own negligence or the negligence of a guest.
If repairs are needed, ask the landlord to make repairs within a reasonable period of time. If repairs are not made, make a written request for the necessary repairs and keep a copy of the letter.
If the repairs still are not made, the tenant may seek legal assistance. If the dwelling becomes unsafe due to the repair problems, the tenant should contact local health or housing authorities.
If a tenant withholds rent payments until repairs are completed, the renter may be in violation of the lease and may be subject to eviction.
Under very limited circumstances, the tenant may make repairs and deduct the cost from rent if the tenant:
1) Has lived on the property for at least six months.
2) Has paid all rent owed.
3) Is not in violation of the lease.
4) Has notified the landlord of the problem and has allowed at least 14 days for the landlord to respond.
5) Has, at the landlord's request, received verification from city inspectors that the problem violates city code.
If the landlord still does not fix the code violation within 14 days of receiving the city's notice, then the tenant can proceed with the repairs.
The amount of the repair must be verified by receipts. In most cases, the cost of repair must be less than $300 or one-half month's rent (whichever is greater), and can be done once a year.
If your landlord does not provide habitable housing under local and state housing codes, a court would probably conclude that you have been “constructively evicted;” this means that the landlord, by supplying unlivable housing, has for all practical purposes “evicted” you, so you have no further responsibility for the rent. Missouri law (Mo. Ann. Stat. §§ 441.570, 441.580) sets specific requirements for the procedures you must follow before moving out because of a major repair problem. The problem must be truly serious, such as the lack of heat or other essential service.
There are no specific rules regarding roaches but the presence of roaches is a health hazard and should be fixed by the landlord. If the problem is serious enough you might even be able to terminate your lease. These are you remedies under Missouri law.
See link for your rights:
http://www.stlcitycircuitcourt.com/CircuitClerk/LandlordTenantHandbook.pdf
Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I found all the same information on google. I was hoping for a better definition of the law.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
This is your answer, what exactly do you want to know? You can withhold rent based on the criteria that I provided in the first answer or your can terminate the lease and sue for any damages in small claims court. If you can get the health inspector out to the premise then possibly you could get the landlord fined if the inspector feels like the maintenance of the apartment is inadequate. This would be more evidence for your claim if you decide to sue in court. These are your remedies under the law. I'm not sure there is much more that can be said. If you feel like this answer is inadequate, I will need more information or if you would like to get advice from another expert, I can opt out and open the question back up.

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