Post # 1
I am in a 6 month lease at an apartment (completed 1.5 months of the lease). There are a whole number of problems with the place. First of all, we have a trash room but so many people just pile up the trash on the floor in there instead of simply throwing the bags down the chute (Seriously heaps of old produce, to go containers and all sort of other trash). Every single time I go to throw my garbage away its so dirty and stinks to the high heavens and is now leaving a pungent odor on the whole floor.
Because of the trash problem (I believe), there are also cockroaches in the apartment building. Once my fiance opened the trash room and said there were tons of cockroaches crawling on the garbage built up in there. I wanted to throw up thinking about it. We are one of the closest apartments to the trash room and the cockroaches get into our apartment because of it.
Also, people chain smoke in the stairs and leave their butts and ashes all over the public areas. Not just one here or there but piles of a dozen or more left on the stairs. So if it doesn’t smell like trash better believe there is cigarette smoke to take its place.
I have emailed our apartment building and each time they have a porter pick up the trash but not clean the room. If this was an isolated indecent, I wouldn’t care to break my lease but it is everyday living with the smell of smoke and trash and gross cockroaches.
Can I break my lease over this? I’m beginning to wonder if this environment could affect my health? I have started to wake up with a cough and sore throat. I don’t know if this is related to the environment. I work from home so I am exposed to this many hours of the day.
Post # 3
im not sure if you can break your lease but if you’ve expressed these concerns to your landlord and nothing has been really done about it then i would start looking into ways that you can terminate. I would not be too pleased with that kind of enviroment i mean roaches are just gross. Have they had an exterminator go out there? Is there smoking allowed in your building? that seems really odd to me.
Post # 4
That sucks but I doubt you can break your lease over other tenents’ bad behavior.
Post # 5
Have you read your lease to see what grounds for termination might be? Also find the website for the state you live in( or province, country etc) , locate the tenants’ rights section and read the information there.
Post # 7
It all depends..what state do you live in?
Post # 8
it depends on where you’re located and what your lease says. if you have cockroaches in your apartment and the landlord is doing nothing to take care of it then you should be able to legally break your lease for that. most leases (every lease i’ve seen) say that the landlord will provide clean, bug free living quarters for tenants. make sure you put all your requests in writing and take pics. document everything! also, is smoking inside illegal where you are? if so, that would be another legal way to break your lease. if the landlord is allowing people to smoke indoors but it’s illegal to do so, then he’s in violation of the lease. a lot of people don’t understand that a landlord can violate a lease also. it’s not just tenants who violate one. look up your local laws, see if there are any tenant’s rights groups you can contact. you can also contact the housing department for your city or county to notify them of possible health/housing code violations.
Post # 9
@engleman10513: i doubt that you will be able to break your lease over this. did you not view the apartment as a whole before renting it (take a tour)?? if so, you would have seen the condition of the garbage room, smokey stairwells, etc.
if it’s really that bad, could you call someone from the housing department to check on the building to ensure that it follows proper sanitary and health codes? is smoking indoors even legal there? the owner could get fined. does the owner of the building live there? are they even aware of the conditions?
Post # 10
They say they have sprayed but I have seen no evidence of it because there are still bugs and they haven’t come to spray individual apartments.
We live in Louisiana.
I have been storing up pictures of the horrible conditions so far. I have a dozen or so.
Post # 11
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
It seems your only way out of this is the cockroaches. The other issues suck, but they are due to other tenants, who could be fined or kicked out or punished in some way, but it doesn’t give you grounds to terminate.
The bugs and odor, however, are a real issue. Read your lease carefully- most state that the landlord is responsible for extermination of pests, and it may be required by law in your state. The odor seems like grounds for termination also, but that one is a bit tougher. Tenants have a responsibility to live in “quiet enjoyment” of the property, and quiet has nothing to do with noise. Quiet means that you are not impeding the ability of other tenants to (quietly) enjoy their apartment- the odor violates this. Also, the landlord has a certain amount of responsibility to keep public areas (like trash room) clean.
Here is my suggestion: Write them a letter on very official-looking letterhead stating that you have discussed these issues with them several times (be very specific, include dates if you can), and the problems have not been adequately addressed pursuant to your rights as a tenant specified in the lease (tell them which section, this is for the pest control thing and the quiet enjoyment thing), and pursuant to state law (if applicable). If they do not resolve these issues within 30 days, you will be terminating your lease.
Post # 12
@engleman10513: if you google “louisiana tenants rights groups” it comes up with a bunch of info. this loooked particularly interesting:
it’s really good that you’ve already started documenting stuff. good luck and i hope you can get out of it!!
Post # 13
I’d talk to a lawyer… If you have made attempts to get the problems resolved with management and they’re shooting you down i’d go higher up or go to a lawyer. and i’d tell management if they dont’ do something you’re going to go to a lawyer and get of the lease beceause its unsanitary. Idk if there’s places to report apartments that are unsanitary? but i’d try!
Post # 14
I mean, you might not be able to break your lease and be 100% in the clear, but yeah, you can totally break your lease, if you are ok with losing your deposit. If you offer to help find someone to take over your lease, they may give you your deposit back if it’s a seamless transition. They likely won’t go after you for 3-4 month’s rent – the legal fees won’t be worth it.
Post # 15
@engleman10513: Check your state’s tenant/landlord regulations but I doubt you have grounds 1.5 months in to legitimately break the lease.
If your building allows smokin in common areas, I don’t think there’s anything you can do about that. You can complain about the butts and ask them to clean them up and maybe put out some ashtrays but…that’s about it.
As for the trash, I would think you’d have to demonstrate a life/health safey risk in order to break the lease.
Maybe rather than breaking the lease you can work with the apartment complex to resolve the issue. If they won’t help you then contact corporate and demand they clean the room regularly and fumigate for pests.
Post # 16
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
@gpsp2B: The Better Business Bureau might be interested. Worth a shot!