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legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8095
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I live in an apartment. one day I noticed a bug. I called

Customer Question

I live in an apartment. one day I noticed a bug. I called management. They got an exterminator and I bought about 15 plastic totes, bug sprays, cleaners. Cleaned everything I owned except my couch and chair (which I threw away) I never had these bugs the whole time I lived here. they charged me over $600 for exterminator. No new furniture was brought in before the infestation. Last month I gave them $1700. When I asked how much they figure I still owe, they said $300. Yesterday, I received a 10 day notice to comply or vacate saying that I owe them $635.01. $10 for late charges, $30 for utilities due and $595.01 due from previous. I'm not sure what to do.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 4 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 4 months ago.

Did the exterminator determine the cause of the bug? Was it an infestation or an isolated bug? Did the landlord, or does the lease, state the tenant is responsible?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He just exterminated but he did state that he found the majority in my couch. as far as the lease, I will have to locate it but I don't remember it stating anything about infestations. I never had this problem before
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
are you still there?
Expert:  legalgems replied 4 months ago.

Yes, thank you; it will be a few more minutes- I am verying the state statutes and cross referencing case law. Thanks for your patience.

Expert:  legalgems replied 4 months ago.

Thank you; pursuant to code 59:18:060, the Landlord is responsible for maintaining the premises bug free, unless the infestation is caused by the tenant; the act specifically states:

Landlord—Duties.

The landlord will at all times during the tenancy keep the premises fit for human habitation, and shall in particular: (4) Provide a reasonable program for the control of infestation by insects, rodents, and other pests at the initiation of the tenancy and, except in the case of a single-family residence, control infestation during tenancy except where such infestation is caused by the tenant;

That code is here

Furthermore, every lease has an implied warranty of habilitability, and an implied warranty of quiet use and enjoyment.

Under the "implied warranty of habitability," the landlord is legally responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability; the landlord must repair substantial defects in the unit and ensure compliance with state and local building and health codes. The idea is that it is a safe living environment. However, the landlord is not responsible under the implied warranty of habitability for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets.
The implied covenant of quiet use and enjoyment means that the tenant is entitled to the peaceful use of the premises.

These are implied in every lease and cannot be waived.
Violation of these covenants/warranties constitute "constructive eviction"

The implied warranty is based on a reasonable person's perception-so for example, one bug would not render it uninhabitable; ongoing problems would.

So the landlord is the party responsible for remedying the situation unless it can be proven that the tenant caused the issue.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 4 months ago.

Checking in to see how the above worked out. Hopefully it was resolved!

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