Skip to main content

Roaches in Chicago apartment, i need to break my lease legally!

Chicago, IL |

I recently signed a 1 year lease for a one room apartment in chicago. Upon the first move in day i found roaches. First i seen dead ones, then later in the evening they came out of my sink drain! About ten of them! I just moved out of my last apartment due to roaches. My landlord/the apartment manager did not mention any roaches habitation prior to me signing the lease. And it is the same leasing group i leased from before. When I asked them if there was any vermin, the manager stated no they spray every month. Now I need to break my lease because I cannot co-habitate with cockroaches for fear that they wil get into my items and move with me when i move. I am a very clean and tidy person, but i cannot live with the stress and terror of roach outbreaks in my home. i need to move out legally

If they spray for roaches every month and there still are roaches then it must merit the problem as an infestation. It is a visibly older apartment building with 3 floors of one room and studio apartments. Any legal advice for my situation will be greatly appreciated.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


If your building is in Chicago and is covered by the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (CRLTO), then this situation is specifically addressed in Section 5-12-110.

This section states that if there is an infestation you may deliver a 14 day notice to the landlord, giving him that time to correct the problem. If the problem is not then corrected, you will be able to legally break the lease.

I don't recommend doing this on your own. It is important to get the assistance of an attorney who handles landlord tenant issues to properly deliver the notice and help you break the lease.

This answer is intended as informational only, and does not constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship between us.



do you know the ballpark charges that will incur from hiring an attorney? I am a college student and could barely afford to pay for this apartment as it is. I am desperate to sever this lease properly.

Emma Lee Scott

Emma Lee Scott


I can only speak to what I charge, since attorneys charge varying rates based on many factors. If you would like to discuss my rates with me, you can email me at

Emma Lee Scott

Emma Lee Scott


Hourly rates probably vary from $100/hour and up.


You may have a basis for breaking your lease but you should consult with an attorney who handles landlord problems. You might be able to locate some online help, but there is no substitution for an in-person discussion. Special laws apply to Chicago landlords and leases.


One good resource for Chicago tenants who are eligible is the Lawyer's Committee for Better Housing. There are other resources as well that may help you in your efforts to break your lease or negotiate an early termination of the lease, or obtain alternative housing.

As has been stated, Chicago has a strong ordinance protecting tenant's rights.

See the link below:

The information provided here should not be construed to be formal legal advice. The provision of this general advice does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Persons with legal questions are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Landlord-tenant topics

Recommended articles about Landlord-tenant

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer