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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27619
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am currently living in an apartment (since July) with a 12

Customer Question

I am currently living in an apartment (since July) with a 12 month lease - the bug and wasp situation is only getting worse. I have provided photos and also an email with more photos just last week. Do I have the right to move without being obligated for the remaining months rent?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Alabama - the Birmingham are
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: area
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I just got a small dog that I have not paid the pet fee of $ 395 to the complex yet and wondered if that would matter
JA: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page.
Customer: I think I am ready, thank you Pearl
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Alabama law requires a landlord to maintain residential premises in a fit and habitable condition, including maintaining compliance with housing or building codes. Alabama Code, Section 35-9A-204. If there is a pest infestation you did not cause, and the landlord is refusing to fix whatever problem is giving them entry, then the landlord is in violation of that statute. What the law says is that you must send the landlord a written notice that not only identifies the problem, but says that you will terminate the lease if the problem is not repaired within 14 days. Section 35-9A-401. You need to tell the landlord what date you'll be moving out if he doesn't make the required repairs, but if the repairs are made, that reinstates the lease.

You're not liable for ongoing rent as long as you send the notice required by the statute. To protect yourself (and prove you sent it), it can help to send the notice via certified mail with return receipt requested. You can also hand deliver the notice to the landlord (or ask an adult friend to do it), so there's no question when the notice was received. Once you leave, the landlord must return any rent you've paid for the rest of that month, plus your security deposit.

The fact that you didn't pay the pet fee doesn't forfeit your other rights under the law. However, the landlord could sue you for the fee. Or he could serve you with notice to either pay the fee or remove the dog without a specified amount of time to avoid being evicted. But that's completely separate from the warranty of habitability. They can't refuse repairs because you didn't pay that fee.

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Do you have any other questions about this?