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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 35770
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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Back in February,i went to my landlord about a possible flea

Customer Question

Back in February,i went to my landlord about a possible flea problem. As I am allergic, it is a big deal. It turned out to be bedbugs. I have lived here since July of 2015 and did not have a problem until February of 2016; a few weeks after a new tenant moved in next door. They treated out apartment and everything was great until May, when we found ourselves in the same situation. In May, before the second bug problem, i received a notice saying my lease was up, and that I needed to either sign another or evacuate. I signed another 1 yr lease, thinking the bug problem was dealt with and no longer an issue. When i realized there was yet another bedbug problem, I asked about canceling my future lease that started in July of 2016. They told me that unless i found someone else to take over my lease legally, I could not move out without breaking the lease and having to pay the rent amount anyway. I have tried getting their help and keep getting the "give us a little time to handle the problem" speech. I have even tried bedbug bombs and sprays. It is to the point where i can not sleep in my bed or on my couch without waking up with more bites. Which looks absolutely horrible since I work in a restaurant and deal with people all day long. What do I do about this? I don't even care about the deposit. They can keep it. I just want to live somewhere that is not infested with vermin every few months.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Under LA law, the landlord has a legal duty:

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(2) To maintain the thing in a condition suitable for the purpose of which it was leased; and

(3) To protect the lessee's peaceful possession for the duration of the lease.

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Since allowing an insect infestation violates both these requirements of LA Code 2682, this would put the landlord in breach of contract.

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So if they haven't cured the problem, that would give you legal grounds to simply terminate the lease under LA Civil Code 2719 which states:

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When a party to the lease fails to perform his obligations under the lease or under this Title, the other party may obtain dissolution of the lease pursuant to the provisions of the Title of "Conventional Obligations or Contracts".

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So you are within your legal rights to terminate the lease contract and vacate the property without negative repercussions if you cite the above laws and send the landlord a certified letter stating you are terminating the lease due to their breach of the above habitability laws.

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But you would have to move out fairly quickly, as in a few weeks, or it could appear as though you have accepted the dwelling and waived your right to object to the infestation..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister