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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 114796
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I am four months into a new lease and found that there is a

Customer Question

I am four months into a new lease and found that there is a sewer trap next to my apartment of which oriental cockroaches have made their way into the apartment via broken weather stripping on my front door. This happened over a month ago, we have had the apartment sprayed four times (3x interior 1x exterior). All of our food is in storage containers and been proactively cleaning and vacuuming daily. We still see cockroaches and have confirmed they have laid eggs in my furniture. With that said the property management will allow me to change units, however will not help with moving me or damage to my furniture.
What are my options? Is there anything I can do since this was result of bad maintenance (faulty weather stripping) and location next to sewer trap.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If there is proof that the roaches are coming in from outside, it is the landlord's duty to exterminate and remediate the premises and the outside condition causing your problem. Failure of them to remediate is a breach of lease as it breaches the warranty of habitability. You need to send a LETTER putting them on notice that their failure to exterminate the pests and remediate the problem with the drain and to also fix damages to your property that their negligent maintenance and failure to cure has caused would be a breach of lease and you would have to pursue your legal rights against them for the breach.
In a breach of this nature, you could sue them for all damages, including cost of the damaged furniture (or cost to clean it properly) and also for cost of you having to move and any other directly related costs. You also should call the county inspector to come out and cite them for violations.
If the management will not cure the breach and replace or properly clean your damaged property as well as move you, then you should indeed get a local attorney to represent you in suing them for breaching your warranty of habitability guaranteed by your lease.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your quick reply. For clarification, since it has been 30 days without resolution of the issue - since the first work order May 1 to spray the apartment and fix the weather stripping. Do I need to wait another 30 days after submitting the notice letter to look at obtaining an attorney? Or should I look for an attorney now as we want to move out of the infested apartment as soon as possible.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If you already gave them notice and they still have not fixed it, then no you do not need to wait another 30 days to get n attorney and seek to take legal action against them for breach of the lease and I do not blame you for wanting out of that situation as fast as possible.

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