Can I breach my lease for a pest infestation?

I moved into a townhouse in Feb and right after moving in I found roaches. I have notified the leasing office 5 times since then and they sent an exterminator each time but the problem only keeps getting worse. I feel as though the complex itself isnt doing a sufficient job of taking care of the problem and when I made a complaint with the building inspectors I was notified that they had mutliple complaints of units having roach infestations and they do nothing in that complex. Even if they are aware of the problem they wont do anything unless you keep going down to the leasing office on a weekly basis, and even then wont exterminate the entire building. What is there that I can do, I would rather not move but I can't live with roaches crawling all over. I have a 1 year lease

Flint, MI -

Attorney Answers (1)

Robert M. Visconti

Robert M. Visconti

Landlord / Tenant Lawyer - Farmington, MI
Answered

Be sure to document the problem by taking pictures of the roaches in your unit. You should also make your requests for pest treatment in writing to management. You should also take photos to establish that you are keeping the unit clean and free of crumbs, empty beverage cans and bottles, boxes, etc., all of which may attract and contribute to a pest problem.

I will say that a judge will probably view the fact that management has sent an exterminator following each of your complaints as a positive for management. That said, you should not be expected to live with roaches for the balance of your lease, and if the problem continues, you should create an escrow account and notify the landlord that you will be depositing rent in escrow until the roach problem is satisfactorily resolved.

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