My apartment has been infested with bed bugs, I found out the other tenants in this apartment are infested with bed bugs as well. landlord will not solve this problem
Residential leases carry implied warranties of habitability. That means that they have to be reasonably free of pests such as rodents, cockroaches and probably bedbugs. It's awfully hard to live with those little pests biting, causing irritations and sleepless nights. You could report this to the local health department if the infestation is as bad as you suggest. You really ought to consider moving too, but that won't fix the issue if you bring the bugs with you in your bedding and clothes. It's not easy to escape an infestation once it's begun. Good luck.
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I agree with counsel. I would only add, have the tenants considered organizing together and putting something in writing?
Under certain circumstances, a tenant is permitted to "repair and deduct". In such cases, the tenant does the following:
1. Obtains an estimate for the cost of a service to eliminate the problem
2. In a written notice, within a reasonable time before rent is due, provides the landlord with a copy of the written estimate and giving the landlord the option to either repair or to accept the reduced rent
3. Failure to respond by the landlord then may allow the tenant to withhold the cost of the service from the next month's rent
If this is done in conjunction with an inspection by the local building inspection, then the landlord is left with little choice than to provide the necessary service.
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Sounds like you might all have a reason to walk out on your leases. That threat should make the landlord take action.
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This is not Chicago or Evanston, which have more protective local ordinances for tenants than Berwyn, which has none. But you still have the state law. It's not great, and it does not apply to OWNER OCCUPIED buildings that ALSO have 6 or fewer units. It's called the Illinois Tenants' Right to Repair Act, 765 ILCS 742. It was born relatively recently in 2005.
This Act lets a tenant "repair and deduct" from rent, but ONLY IF THEY EXACTLY FOLLOW ALL of its requirements, including "certified or registered mail" notice to the landlord. Your deduction each month is capped at $500 or half the monthly rent, whichever is LESS. Not a great solution, but conceivably if your rent is $1,000 per month and a really good exterminator could get the job done for $500, then following this law to the letter might actually be your solution.
We would not advise just walking out on your lease, since that does leave you exposed to a claim for lost rent by the landlord. Then you could claim "constructive eviction" as a defense if you had given the landlord a reasonable opportunity to cure the problem on their own, and they didn't, and the court finds that the bugs were sufficiently bad to make the place uninhabitable. As the Illinois Appellate Court put it: “Untenantability exists when the interference with occupancy is of such a nature that the property cannot be used for the purpose for which it was rented.” JMB Properties Urban Co. v. Paolucci, 237 Ill. App. 3d 563, 566 (3d Dist. 1992).
This information is general and does not constitute legal advice, or create an attorney client relationship.
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