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Q:

Can I withhold rent due to a cockroach infestation?

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No, you cannot just withhold rent at your own discretion. The situation sounds serious and it sounds like maybe they need a new exterminator if they've sprayed 8 times with no results. Legally, you can be released from your lease if the unit is not in reasonable and safe condition, but that decision must come from a judge, not from you. The proper legal route to end your lease would be to bring a suit against the landlord. The court will want to see proof that you've done everything you can to notify the landlord of the problem and that you've given him reasonable time to get it fixed. NEVER pay for maintenance or repairs under the assumption that you'll deduct it from your rent. That is an order that can only come from the judge since you don't have the legal authority to decide which repairs are necessary. You simply cannot spend someone Else's money. Only do this if your landlord gives you written permission or a court orders you to do so. NEVER withhold rent. No matter how bad ... more
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I understand that a person can pay the court if there is a problem but here it's only that you can pay the court instead of your landlord IF you've received an eviction. People have their choice as to stay or leave and if the problem is unbearable (as in this case) they can ask the landlord a few times and if no response then I personally would leave and take it up with the landlord in court later on when they try to stick me for the balance of the rent, and I'd also try to get my deposit back in court. Perhaps the spray the bugman is using isn't strong because you have children and they don't want your children to get sick. But I'd be wondering why your daughter didn't get her own roach bait by Raid for instance (and put those little squares in the water closet, and anywhere else above the children's reach and be the responsible parent and make sure the children don't get to that bait. The bait is little square plastic houses and the bugs eat it and die overnight. Now I don't know ... more
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