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can a tenant ask for full refund of rent for 3 months and deposit

after moving in and finding...
can a tenant ask for full refund of rent for 3 months and deposit after moving in and finding roaches outside premesis and wanting to move out because of this they have lived there for 6 weeks
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5/15/2013
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
Experience: General practice attorney
Verified

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

The tenant can ask for the rent back, but that doesn't mean that you have a legal duty to give the rent back. Roaches can, in certain instances, be evidence of an "unihabitable condition", but it's not necessarily the case. The mere fact that there is a roach or two is not dispositive.

ScottyMacEsq :

Furthermore, even if it was uninhabitable, if the tenant took you to court, the most that the tenant could get from you is difference between the rent paid and the "true value" of the rent.

ScottyMacEsq :

That is, no judge would order rent free stay, but the judge may say that the fair market value of the rent was $300 less than what was charged, and therefore you would need to refund that amount.

ScottyMacEsq :

(the difference).

ScottyMacEsq :

Ultimately it depends on the severity of the infestation, and how much notice the tenant gave you to fix the problem. If no notice was even given, I doubt a judge would hold that against you at all.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

they found more outside the rental is in coutry on dirt with no landscaping and they accepted all the terms I was not aware of the roaches before they moved in and i did have a professional spray around the house so they would not go in but she is all stressed out about the possiblity of their coming in i am willing to work with her but not give her the full refund i can prorate her til they move out

ScottyMacEsq :

I understand. If she does not have any evidence of roaches after you sprayed inside the house, it would be highly unlikely that she would be able to get any reduction on the rent if she were to take you to court. In fact, her actions (if not agreed to by you) could be a breach of the agreement, if the conditions of the property are not such that it's uninhabitable.

Customer:

could she sue for stress she is putting me through a lot of stress too i hope we can come to some agreement that does not involve the courts thank you

ScottyMacEsq :

She couldn't have a claim for the stress that she's going through unless she could show that your actions were intentional AND extreme.

ScottyMacEsq :

That is, she would not have a case for the "stress" that she goes through.

Customer:

she wants the full refund because she paid to move in and now has to pay to move out i told her i was not responsible for her moving expenses she also says she is trashing everything she left outdoors in case a roach got in and wants me to cover this she agreed to all the terms when she moved in and now wants me to give her all her refund because she will be out more money

ScottyMacEsq :

That is her problem. Moving expenses would not be recoverable unless she could prove a condition that renders it uninhabitable.

ScottyMacEsq :

And the possibility of a roach getting in is not such a condition.

ScottyMacEsq :

A roach infestation could be, but without proof of that, then her leaving (and you letting her out of her lease) is entirely on her.

Customer:

the roach normally live outside and it would be impossible to get rid of there are no roaches in the house or signs of them i am meeting with her today to discuss her moving but i will not agree to a full refund as she is requesting i will pro-rate the days they have been there and give her the rest of the refund they paid for 3 months which makes it a significant amount

ScottyMacEsq :

No doubt. I think that is more than generous on your part, and if the condition is such as what you've described, I don't think that she would have a case against you.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

thanks again

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
Experience: General practice attorney
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ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
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