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I currently live in an apartment building that is having an…

Customer Question
Hello I currently live...

Hello I currently live in an apartment building that is having an issue with rodents. It’s been about a week since I’ve seen them in my unit and my neighbor informed me that it’s be an on and off thing over the last 6 months. I found a dead mouse in my toilet bowl, I’ve seen one running through the hallways and some have been caught in my unit. I am mortified and I want to move out ASAP. Can I do so my lease is up in June.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

I called the department of health they are going to come out and inspect the unit. I’ve also been in touch with the leasing company but no one has gotten back to me in terms of breaking my lease

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the apartment located?

Cherry hill N.J.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I’ve been suffering really bad headaches over the last month in my apartment and since i haven’t been there in the last week I’ve been feeling fine. I think the rodent issue was also playing a part in my health as well

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/15/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 6 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 14,609
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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I am terribly sorry to hear this. That must be intolerable. Has a local exterminator been called and would that fee be less than one month rent?
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I’m not sure I haven’t been in the unit since Saturday when it happened. Manitence have been inside placing traps but I’m not sure if the leasing company called and exterminator. I did go ahead and called the department of health and put in a complaint. I just want to move out I don’t even want to stick around to see if the issue is corrected.
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 6 months ago
Thank you. Unfortunately while every lease has an implied warranty of habitability normally the tenant must first give the landlord a reasonable opportunity to remedy the problem. This generally allows the owner a reasonable time to set traps and contact an exterminator unless the local health department determines the situation is so severe it poses an immediate risk to the tenant's health and safety.
The court will also take into consideration the cause and whether the tenant could have mitigated the issue (not likely if widespread issue).But generally the court will not allow a tenant to break the lease until the owner is provided notice of the problem and responds in a reasonable time. This is usually a few days for an infestation.If the tenant can prove the problem has been ongoing and landlord failed to act tenact may consider it a breach of the warranty of habitability and vacate without recourse but it must be well documented with strong facts in tenants favor or the court may determine that the tenant breached the lease. That is why an inspection report along with written notice to the owner is helpful.
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
My neighbor said it’s been on and off for the last few months I just moved in about 8 months ago. I don’t want to live on the property anymore I’ve made up my mind so what should I do?
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
My lease is up in 2-3 months
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 6 months ago
Generally if the unit is not habitable the tenant would need to prove they provided written notice and gave a reasonable opportunity to cure. The court may waive that if their is proof the situation has been ongoing.
Generally one would need to secure a report from the health department certifying the infestation and declaring the property unfit for human contamination.
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
basically I am stuck until my lease is up?
Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 6 months ago

It depends on what the health department determines; or the tenant can bring an action seeking a declaratory judgment that the unit is not habitable.

Otherwise the tenant does assume the risk that the court will determine the tenant did not:

1. provide the landlord ample opportunity to remedy the situation

2. the situation did not warrant breaking the lease (ie it could have been remedied, was not severe enough, etc)

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Real Estate Lawyer: legalgems, Arbitrator replied 6 months ago

Hello; just checking in on the above.
If you have further questions please post here and I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Otherwise
kindly rate positively (hopefully you feel I have earned 5 stars) to help maintain my high customer satisfaction score and so I know you were satisfied with my services.

The above information is for educational purposes only. An attorney in one's jurisdiction can be located at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/flh-home.html
Thank you.

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