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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38213
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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My daughter is renting an apartment in Lawrence, KS. In the

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My daughter is renting an apartment in Lawrence, KS. In the recent past there has been a mouse in the apartment and faulty air conditioning, both of which have been rectified. More recently (as early as yesterday) there has been Brown Recluse spiders in her bedroom. The maintenance person provided sticky traps, but stated that are likely many more. Brown Recluse spiders are a serious health risk. There bites can cause ulceration in the bite area as well as necrosis. Needless to say my daughter is terrified to return to her apartment and wants to move. I'm told that my only option is to sublet until the lease is up. In my view, her health, safety, and well being are at risk. I don't think I should accept anything less than termination of the lease without penalty. Do I have any options?
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
Daughter does have another option to force the landlord to cure the problems or she can terminate the lease without repercussions.
Under Kansas law the landlord has a legal duty to provide a dwelling that complies with all building and housing codes that materially affect the health and safety of the tenant. (Kansas Statutes 58-2553) I would opine that this would extend to the extermination of dangerous insect or vermin infestations and make that the responsibility of the landlord.
Under KS 58-2559, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord, the tenant can deliver a written notice stating that the lease will terminate in 30 days if the landlord doesn't cure the breach. The landlord then has 14 days to cure the breach to prevent the lease from terminating.
So her option would be to deliver written notice of the problems, state that they are a breach of the implied warranty of habitability and a violation of Kansas Statutes 58-2553 and she is putting him on notice that she is terminating the lease with a 30 day notice if the problems aren't cured in 14 days.
Then if landlord doesn't cure the problems, she can move out without any further liability and receive a full refund of her deposit. In addition she can also sue the landlord in small claims court for any costs she has incurred due to his breach under KS 2553 which states:
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this act, the tenant may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or K.S.A. 58-2553. The remedy provided in this subsection shall be in addition to any right of the tenant arising under subsection (a) of this section.
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