::I'll cut to the chase here: I moved into a an apartment on August 18th. I asked if there were any bug problems, was told "no". One week later we see a roach in the bathroom. Discussed w/ the landlord who said its no big deal but we will spray if you see another. A week later i find a HUGE cockroach on my bedroom floor. Coincidentally the landlord had just come by, saw me in tears and freaking out so he went and killed it/disposed of it. He said they will look under the unit, spray, etc, etc soon. this morning another few roaches greet me in the bathroom. Also the neighbor above and to my right confirmed they have roaches. i want out immediately. i sent him a 30 day notice. Does he have the right to keep my security deposit?
While I cannot give you legal advice in this forum, take a look at this link from the California Department of Consumer Affairs: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtml. You may have a case but might want to spray yourself and see if this works before you take the drastic steps of breaking a lease.
THIS RESPONSE IS INTENDED TO CONVEY GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY. IT SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON OR TAKEN AS LEGAL ADVICE. FURTHER, THIS RESPONSE IS NOT INTENDED TO AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
Several questions being posed here. Habitability is a valid reason to be permitted out of a lease, but to do so requires that you notify the landlord of the problem and then provide him with a period of time to address the issue. If he's spraying, he's addressing the issue. If your landlord fails to address the issue you're left with two choices. One, do the repair or have the service done, up to the value of one month's rent or Two, vacate. In vacating on a habitability issue, you cannot be held responsible for the balance of your lease.
Now, thirty days notice to the landlord while in a lease will not be effective. Those types of notice from either the tenant or the landlord are not permitted under a lease. You have to give notice and provide a chance to cure before you may vacate without problems.
Finally, your security deposit is not a profit center that the landlord gets to keep at his whim. He has to account to you for it and if he uses over $100 of your money, he needs to provide you with the receipts showing how that money was spent.
A proper response would require a thorough investigation into the history and background of this relationship. The information provided above is just that, information, to be used as you see fit.
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