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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 18139
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I just signed a lease in Iowa today at 1130am to rent a

Customer Question

I just signed a lease in Iowa today at 1130am to rent a house. I went to the house tonight and turned on the lights to find a severe cockroach infestation. I called my landlord who informed me that he already had the house sprayed twice as he "knew there were cockroaches there before". I was not informed of this prior to signing the lease. I have already paid $1050 in security deposit and wrote a check for $952 today for rent. I want to stop payment on this check. I also want to terminate the lease agreement and receive a refund for the $1050 security deposit. Is this within my Legal rights? I do not want to live in a house infested with roaches and I feel like it is too severe to be exterminated without me having to deal with this problem in the upcoming year long lease term. I have not moved anything into the house, but the utilities were transferred into my name effective today. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I just signed a lease in Iowa today at 1130am to rent a house. I went to the house tonight and turned on the lights to find a severe cockroach infestation. I called my landlord who informed me that he already had the house sprayed twice as he "knew there were cockroaches there before". I was not informed of this prior to signing the lease. I have already paid $1050 in security deposit and wrote a check for $952 today for rent. I want to stop payment on this check. I also want to terminate the lease agreement and receive a refund for the $1050 security deposit. Is this within my Legal rights?

Response 1: Yes, it is within your rights. You cannot live in a roach infested apartment. The infestation problem would most likely continue and you do not want to deal with that. You do not want your personal items contaminated.

I do not want to live in a house infested with roaches and I feel like it is too severe to be exterminated without me having to deal with this problem in the upcoming year long lease term. I have not moved anything into the house, but the utilities were transferred into my name effective today. What can I do?

Response 2: Contact the utilities companies and cancel the transfer. Send a written notice to the Landlord for immediate termination of the lease because of the roach infestation and full refund of your Security Deposit. Immediately call your bank and stop payment on the rent check. If the rent check has been negotiated by the Landlord, you need ask for refund. If the Landlord refuses to refund your deposits, you need to file Small Claim against the Landlord their return. You can obtain Small Claim forms at your local Courthouse in the Clerk’s Office.

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