Unsafe/unsanitary living conditions..

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We moved here as a military family 4 months ago. It is a 4 unit building of condos each with a different landlord. We weren't able to look at the place before we signed the lease. Which was okay, he gave us a three day grace period to do a walkthru which went well, with the exception of bugs, which he says was due to it being vacant for two months. He said it wouldnt be a problem to call an exterminator who has shown up once a month. He also brought fog bombs over. These things have not made a difference there are still roaches, and since we have a two year old daughter, we feel that this is unsanitary, for some reason he cant seem to get rid of them....

In the meantime, the tenant across the hall from us, a woman with 3 boys and a husband that shes seperated from but who still stays there, from the time we moved in to the present have been loud, fighting, and abusive which we can hear clearly at all hours. They have had the cops called 12 times since we've lived here, twice by me when after she came to our door naked and drunk, I wouldnt answer it. The next day she came to the door, and was yelling through it about apologizing, I just didnt want to answer the door, she then realized I was going to ignore her and kicked my door, called out profanity, threatened my life etc. I called the police and they took her to rehab, after calling my landlord and apprising him of the situation he tells me it will get taken care of, I also spoke with her landlord and he said he would talk to her. It has been two months since then and we have been trying to make other arrangements, as soon as we do we called to notify our landlord and he says that we have no valid reason to move out! If these issues had been resolved within the first sixty to ninety days I could say yes but they havent and now that we are wanting to move he is saying that the tenant will be evicted. In addition to this she has a son who is mentally disabled, we have gated access to the front walk with buzzers, almost everyday at 6am and 230pm the bus driver pushes my buzzer until I answer and then asks for me to take charge of th boy because the mom is either not answering or no at home. I have repeatedly said no and asked them to stop to no avail. Do we have cause to move under unsafe living conditions? Thanks for the help in avance!
Check your state landlord/tenant laws. The sticky issue here is that I don't see anywhere in your posting that you have registered all your complaints in writing. Everything seems to have been done orally which does not give you leverage when it comes to providing proof that your landlord has not taken appropriate action to remedy your complaints.
State Law

805.5 The extermination of vermin and rodents shall be done by the owner or licensee whenever infestation exists in two or more of the habitations in two family or multiple dwellings.

He has been trying but as I said before because the apartment building connected to us is uninhabitable and vacant the roaches just go over there and then come back.

Section 400.3 of the Housing Regulation states, "no person shall rent or offer to rent any habitation, unless the habitation and its furnishings are in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition, in good repair, and free from rodents and vermin."

Doesn't that clearly state that the apartment has to be free of rodents, to even rent it?

As for the landlord himself he may be a slacker but he hasn't turned ugly and has always been very cordial. Hes asking for two months rent after we move out. Which if we were breaking the lease without cause I would consider generous. However I think that these codes show that we do have cause. Of course Im not a lawyer and have limited experience in dealing with the law and almost none in housing regulations so thanks for you help!

Just an update for anyone that has or ever will have a similar problem. I actually talked to a tenant advocate who is at the Dept of consumer and regulatory affairs, and SHE said that I am correct in the above mentioned stats and that if a landlord knew about an infestation before or at the time of signing the lease then you are actually entitled to a refund of all rent paid and the lease is null and void. Now of course Im not interested in trying to take it that far letting us out of the the lease and a refund of the security deposit should serve my purpose. Anyways I hope it helps someone else!
Nice of the advocate to tell you this but often these things need to be proven in court. It's not a slam dunk that you'll get your security deposit back or avoid a lawsuit for breaking your lease.

If you leave and the landlord sues you for breaking the lease, your argument will be in regards to this roach issue (and these are not rodents but insects). Your landlord will argue (and show) that he/she has attempted to remedy the situation by paying for an exterminator on a fairly regular basis, purchasing the foggers, etc..

Your reasons for breaking the lease would be much stronger if you had reported this issue and the landlord had done nothing to remedy it. This doesn't sound like the case here.

And, as in most of the cases, the judge will decide who wins.

I have written notarized statements from the previous tenant, and from neighbors, that he personally talked to including a city council member that lives acoss the street, nstating that this problem was existing. I have pictures of the vermin infestation ie. eggs, and feces all in a cabinet, including roaches all over the place. And yes they are insects and not rodents, in the bottom sentence of the above referenced statute it clearly states rodent or vermin. Vermin is a term applied to various animal species regarded as pests or nuisances and especially to those associated with the carrying of disease. The term itself derives from the Latin vermis, meaning worm, and originally had reference to the vermiform larvae of certain insects, many of which infest foodstuffs. As you can see I am not automatically assuming we'll get it although I think since sending all the evidence to him he'll be more inclined to take the easy road and just let us out and refund the deposit.
He might. Or, he might sue. Or he might let you out of the lease but keep the deposit.

Keep in mind that most judges will not accept statements (even notarized ones) as evidence.

Your pictures are good evidence of the presence of the roaches.

Again, the issue is not likely to be that roaches were present but how did the landlord respond when notified they were present.

Unfortunately in living situations such as apartment/condo complexes, duplexes or where houses are physically close together, one does not get "rid" of roaches; spraying/bombs simply moves them next door but the persistent little stinkers soon return.

Unfortunately in living situations such as apartment/condo complexes, duplexes or where houses are physically close together, one does not get "rid" of roaches; spraying/bombs simply moves them next door but the persistent little stinkers soon return.


Then how do people ever resolve this kind of problem? What about having an exterminator come out and look at the condition, they should be able to tell me how long they've been on the premises right? In addition, yesterday my daughter had to go to the ER because of what we thought was an ear infection, it turned out to be a roach in her ear. I really feel there are health concerns and so we have to move. I cant have her getting sick due to roach feces, or in pain because one crawled into here ear....do these types of hings hold up in court well?
Have you considered contacting the health department and your code inspector, especially after the incident with your daughter? This would certainly add credence to your desire to vacate the property (without penalty) due to this roach issue.

I have talked to the Department of Regulatory and Consumer Affairs, they say we need to file a petition and have someone come out and inspect the premises. Which is fine but we are moving out the 13th of December and so that leaves me very little time to maneuver. In addition Im not sure what bearing this will have but the building does not have a Certificate of Occupancy or a Housing Business License, isn't that illegal when renting a property? Thanks again for all your help!
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