Tenants with Bedbugs Should Contact Landlord and Tenant Attorneys in Chicago for Assistance

by | Sep 22, 2015 | Real Estate Attorney

According to a 2015 survey conducted by the website Pest World, the three most common places exterminators find bedbugs are apartments, single-family homes, and hotels/motels. Bedbugs are a scourge that causes skin irritation when they bite, and studies indicate they may spread disease. If you’re apartment is infested with bedbugs, contact landlord and tenant attorneys in Chicago because you may be able to exit your lease early. Here’s more information about your options.

Bedbug Infestation a Habitability Problem

Among other things, landlords are required to provide tenants with habitable places to live. Although the definition of habitability and laws regulating it may differ from state to state, in general the rental units must be clean, safe and conform to all housing codes. If the landlord doesn’t maintain the unit in a reasonably habitable condition, all states allow tenants to terminate the lease and leave.

Except for Arkansas, all states consider bedbug infestations to be a habitability issue. If the landlord is unable or unwilling to eradicate the bedbugs, then tenants can withhold rent until the problem is resolved, and/or break their leases without consequence.

You Must Give the Landlord Time

However, tenants must give the landlords a reasonable amount of time and opportunity to eliminate the bedbugs. While it may be tempting to pack your things and leave the first time you’re bitten by one of these pests, some experts advise it can take a minimum of three weeks to get rid of these pests; so, if you try to break your lease earlier than that, you may still be held liable for rent and other damages since you didn’t give the landlord adequate time to fix the problem.

At the same time, if it’s been a couple of months or more since you notified your landlord there were bedbugs and he or she hasn’t called the exterminators or made any attempt to correct the issue, then you are perfectly within your rights to leave. It may be a good idea to hire Starr, Bejgiert, Zink & Rowells, landlord and tenant attorneys in Chicago, beforehand to protect your legal rights should the landlord attempt to stop you from leaving or sue you for damages. For more information, like them on Facebook.

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