Can I Sue Landlord for Roach Infestation?

The worst case can be living in a new building, and a cockroach appears. It is not normal to have cockroaches because the place’s owners must fumigate and keep all the spaces clean.

Cockroaches can be a hygiene and health problem, transmitting diseases and bacteria that can harm you and your food. Causing you to want no longer to live there or leave.


Are cockroaches in a lease illegal?

It will depend on what the situation is like where you live. One cockroach may be a problem, but the appearance of an infestation in the rental may become illegal if nothing is done to stop it.

Before acting, you need to know your rights as a tenant to understand what you can and cannot claim. Because if you are unaware of them, you can expose yourself to unfavorable conditions without knowing that you could solve them.

There are several laws about leases in the United States, which vary depending on the state where you are located. But you must follow two standard laws before you can look for tenants.

According to the government, the landlord must ensure repairs to any rental property and provide you with a dwelling that is fit to live in, including basic utilities, sanitation, and pest control.

A cockroach infestation will transform your home into an unlivable environment, making you unable to live in it because of all the consequences the cockroach infestation.

When a cockroach appears, you must inform your landlord and ask him to solve it; if he refuses, you have the right to sue him for contempt of his obligations.

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How can I sue my landlord?

There are many ways to sue your landlord; since the state takes care of most of the procedures, you must let them know so they can act. First, you need to have proof of your accusation to sue.

Take as many photos of the cockroach infestation as possible to graphically demonstrate the problem. A good option is to take a picture of your clean and organized home, then take another picture with the cockroaches to prove that it is your home.

Then print each picture and file them in a labeled folder so that you can organize your evidence. If you take a photo of your phone, you must take a screenshot showing the image with the date you took it.

Some phones also allow you to take pictures with a watermark with the date and time of the moment you took it; it would be perfect for your tests. Next, write down all the information about the infestation. Then, record each time you see a cockroach, how many, and where. Fill out that log for at least three days to estimate the severity of the infestation.

Write down on a piece of paper all your landlord’s decisions, what he has said and what kind of attitude he has had. The information could be very influential in filing a lawsuit.

Write a demand letter

Before you step forward with a lawsuit, you need to draft a letter with enough detail to point out the emergency of the matter so that you can be heard by the legal systems that grieve for you.

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Turn on your PC and start drafting. The basis of the text should be an explanation of the facts, where you will point out when it started, how it started, and what decisions your landlord made about it.

Then specifically point out all the damages the cockroaches have done in your home, from food loss, diseases, or even the loss of hygiene they generate. Demand that the landlord pay for pest control or any expenses related to the infestation within seven days, or if you are willing to wait longer, you can allow 15 days.

Put any attempt to solve the problem you have made, from deep cleaning the lease to killing them to having to buy poison or exterminators on your own without knowing about it.

To conclude the letter, explain that you will stop paying rent until the problem is solved, only if it is allowed in your state. There are some jurisdictions where it is illegal to stop rent.

Finally, date and sign the letter and mail it; you will have to wait for a response with the state’s decisions in your case. Remember that you cannot make any decision without first consulting with the police because only the police can do justice.

Sue the landlord yourself

There is always the possibility that you can sue the landlord yourself, but you need to be prepared to face a juvenile court. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. However, you must have enough evidence and know what to say.

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Before you make your decision, find out which local jurisdiction will take your case, so you know what measures or laws to follow because poor knowledge of the laws in your area could work against you.

At this point, it is important to have all the evidence you have collected previously, such as photos and notes. But you can’t just come out and say anything; you must express your dislikes clearly.

Another tip is to bring proof of your responsibility with the payments and that you have never violated the lease laws between you and the tenant. That way, you will be able to show your kindness and make them see that what you say is true.

But if you have committed many lease violations and the landlord has proof of that, things could get tough for you because the full weight of the law would not apply only to him.