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Can we break an apartment lease because of roaches?

Media, PA |

My husband and I live in an apartment, but are buying a house soon. We have a one year lease with a penalty of 2 months rent if we break it. The entire time we have been living there they have had to come spray for roaches every two weeks and we still see them. We have even found them in our bed. We have all of our work orders saved and occasionally put the roaches in baggies and send them to the landlord to prove we still have a problem. Are we able to break our lease on the grounds that no matter what they do we still have roaches and pay way too much to deal with that?

Attorney Answers 1


In every residential lease, there's what we lawyers call an "implied warranty of habitablity." Basically, your landlord promises that the house or apartment is fit to live in.

A pest infestation that exists because of structual defects or improper treatment (not because a tenant leaves trash and garbage around) may be a violation of the warranty.

Breach of this implied warranty could relieve a tenant of the obligation to pay all or any rent.

You should consult with a Landlord tenant lawyer for an answer to your specific legal question.

Note: This is general information and is not meant as legal advice for your situation. This answer doesn't create a lawyer/client relationship between us.

Leo M. Mulvihill, Jr.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
2424 E York St, suite 316
Phila. PA 19125
215.385.LAW1 (5291)

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