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My apartment is infested with roaches

Orlando, FL |

before I moved in I asked the complex if they had a bug issue. They reassured me that if I had a problem it would be taken care of and they would not only spray my apt, but all my neighbors apts as well. I've been living in my apt for 2 months not and the problem is horrible. I waken up to bugs (roaches) crawling on me (this has to be against some type of health code). I shouldn't have to pay to live like this. I've bombed my apartment myself, screamed at the office making them spray. Is there anyway I can get out of my lease??? I shouldn't have to pay to live like this....

Distraught Tenant

Attorney Answers 1


It sounds bad. Yes, there is a remedy but you shouldn't use it without having a local attorney advise you.

F.S. 83.51(2)(a)1. provides that unless otherwise agreed in writing the landlord of a residential dwelling (other than a single family home or duplex) "must make reasonable provisions for: 1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organizms, and bedbugs.. . " You might want to Google this statute and read the whole thing. It even requires the LL to abate the rent if you have to move out for treatment..

What you should do is have an attorney write a lawyer's letter to the LL demanding that roaches be exterminated immediately or that you will consider that they have breached the lease. There are various approaches to dealing with this. You may withhold the rent until the LL files for eviction against you. Then you pay it into the registry of the county court and counterclaim against the LL in court. If you withhold enough rent to pay back your deposits, you notify the LL that they have breached, failed to cure, and that you are moving, keeping the rent due to repay the deposits. You could also initiate a lawsuit against the LL. Under Florida LL-Tenant law, the loser pays the winner's attorneys fees and costs.

You need evidence. Take pictures and invite friends and relatives to see the problem first hand. Talk to the other tenants. They will all be your witnesses. In fact, the other tenants can join with you in this action.

But you have to notify the LL in writing of the breach. Talking to them in person or on the phone is not enough.

The foregoing is offered for informational purposes only and is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. To indicate that you have read the answer it would be appreciated if you would check either the thumbs up or thumbs down box below. More than one attorney may respond to your question over the next 5 days so it may be beneficial for you to keep checking for answers.

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