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Can you sue your landlord and can the lease be broken if your living conditions is poor

Newark, NJ |

I live in this house aparment building in jersey and when i sign the lease i told the people who sells apartments i wouldnt sign a lease if i had hole in the walls . So they patched it up i than notice i had a mice in my house i have a 9 month old and i cant even put her on the floor im scared to ecen live there i have a one year lease and it ends in april of 14 can i sue for my condition i did call the landlord and he told me i have to catch the mouse he than gave me 8 mouse traps and mouse food for the mouse and i still have not caught the mouse if i would of known this i would never signed the lease what can i do please help

Attorney Answers 3


The short answer here is that you need to put all your issues in writing, and give the LL a reasonable opportunity to cure the problem. It's not your obligation to be an exterminator - he's supposed to handle that. Now, he may argue (and it's a reasonable argument) that buying mousetraps was's up to a court to decide.

You can attempt to withhold rent until he fixes the problems, but you need to save every penny of that rent money and it will need to be deposited with the court when he eventually tries to evict you.

But you cannot simply breach the lease and walk away.

The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client relationship. If you feel you need to speak with an attorney regarding your issue, it is recommended that you contact an attorney with expertise in your area of inquiry. The information related above is purely for informational purposes, and should not be acted upon without speaking with qualified counsel familiar with you specific situation and the laws related thereto.

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Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly


There is a big difference between poor living conditions with an infestation of mice and finding one mouse. If there are poor living conditions, then you should call the health department and crack down on it so you have a safe and clean place to live. If you have a phobia of mice, then there is almost nothing the Landlord can do: he can't guarantee that a mouse will never show up.


I agree with Mr. Keppler. I do not know the level of infestation, but in may be worthwhile to have the Board of Health inspect.

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The Landlord must take responsibility for any and all infestation issues. Send your Landlord a detailed letter describing the problems and demanding immediate action. If you get no response, contact the Board of Health or the local Housing inspector.

This answer is not intended to be used as actual and specific legal advice, and this answer is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. I am happy to provide basic answers and to speak in terms of generalities, but I am not intending to give specific advice that could be construed as forming an attorney client relationship. I offer free consultations, and I am always happy to speak to potential clients personally about their legal questions. Thank you and good luck!

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