Can I Sue Landlord For Roach Infestation? (Find Out Now!)

Tiffany Nichols
by Tiffany Nichols

Nobody wants roaches in their home. But getting rid of them can be a challenge. So, who’s responsible for a roach infestation? And can you sue your landlord if they don’t fix the problem? Here’s what you need to know.

In some cases, you can get your landlord in trouble for not fixing a cockroach infestation. However, you must prove that the bugs were there before you took possession of the apartment. Or you have to show that the problem is a result of landlord negligence.

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Does a Landlord Have to Disclose Roaches?

There are some things your landlord cannot do, even if they’d like to. And there are some things tenants can’t do, even if they’d like to. So, the playing field is relatively level. But landlords aren’t obligated to disclose prior roach problems at a rental.

On the other hand, property managers must tell you if there’s still an infestation. And then they have to describe the steps they’re taking to get rid of the problem. If they can’t or won’t, you don’t have to sign a rental contract with them.

Regarding rentals, the law is on your side. Most states give landlords no more than 30 days to make necessary repairs and get rid of pests. But in some cases, the state might make landlords find solutions even faster. It all depends on the nitty-gritty details.

A judge might force landlords to get rid of an infestation before 30 days if the bugs cause damages, injuries, illness, or loss. Plus, your landlord might have to pay for professional cleaning services as well. However, a landlord can’t force you to hire professional cleaners for your apartment. They either have to mention cleaning standards in the lease or handle it themselves.

TIP: If cockroaches make you fear for your health or safety, don’t forget to mention that to your landlord and judge.

Can an Exterminator Get Rid of Roaches?

Cockroach extermination costs are high. But they’re usually worth the investment. That’s because professional exterminators understand the behaviors and life cycles of pests. So, they use proven tactics to get rid of the problem.

Here’s another reason why paying an exterminator is worth it. You won’t have to worry about the critters coming back. Also, you get a warranty on most services, a record of your expenditures, and something to bring with you to court.

If you pay for roach extermination services and your landlord is found negligent in court, the court could order a reimbursement. So, don’t forget to keep your receipts. Meanwhile, ask the exterminator what steps you can take to prevent a return.

Will Roaches Come Back After Extermination?

There’s a chance your cockroach problem could return after professional extermination. If you don’t change your home’s layout, bugs could return to their original breeding grounds. Plus, you have to sanitize everything, or else they’ll remember familiar scents.

To make sure the roaches are all gone, check the nooks and crannies inside your home. Cockroaches like to hang out in kitchen cabinets and other dark places. But you can get rid of roaches in your kitchen cabinets with bug spray from your local drugstore. Just make sure the spray doesn’t get on any dinnerware or food.

First, remove the items in your kitchen cabinets before using bug spray to get rid of cockroaches. Then, clean the surface after a few hours. Give the chemicals time to repel bugs, but don’t let them sit for too long. And pay attention to your cabinetry materials because some big sprays can damage your finish.

TIP: Watch for signs of roach activity to get ahead of developing pest problems.

Do Cockroaches Like Dirty Places?

Dark places are one thing. But what about dirty homes? Do cockroaches enjoy living where there’s lots of trash and debris? The answer is yes. Roaches scavenge for food in many places, especially dirty houses. However, they’re drawn even more to warm, humid climates and moisture. That’s why you usually find cockroaches on the dirty dishes inside your sink.

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How Do I Tell My Landlord About Roaches?

It’s easy to tell your landlord about a roach problem. However, you will have to take some notes and keep detailed records of your complaints. So, start by reaching out to the property manager where you live. Either call their office or stop by in person to discuss the details.If all else fails, write a formal complaint letter and send it to the corporate office. Complaint letters show that you’re serious about the issue and are actively seeking solutions. Your landlord is supposed to respond quickly. Meanwhile, keep receipts of your interactions and bring them to court if you need to.

Can You Leave an Apartment Because of Roaches?

Cockroaches might leave a cold house because it’s uncomfortable. But breaking your lease might not be as easy. But you can leave an apartment for a roach infestation if the landlord doesn’t do anything about it. However, there’s a process you must follow first. So, review your lease and compare it to the rules of the state.

How Many Roaches Is an Infestation?

Typically, roaches don’t travel alone. And that means there’s usually more than one even if you don’t see them. So, a roach infestation isn’t quantified by number. Homeowners generally assume there’s a bigger problem behind the scenes, and they’re often correct. That’s why most people hire an exterminator early despite the cost.

Who Is Responsible for Pest Control on a Rental Property?

Your landlord is the one who is responsible for getting rid of roaches in your rental. However, the duty may fall on you if the landlord can prove you caused the problem. So, keep accurate and updated notes about the condition of your home. And hold your landlord accountable for maintenance as per the law.

Does Killing Roaches Attract More?

Killing live roaches doesn’t necessarily cause more to come. Still, you may attract other bugs if you kill their colleagues with force. So, use chemicals, bait, and traps instead. That way, the bug colony will learn not to scurry around in that particular location.

Do You Need Pest Control Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

What To Do Next

If you have a roach problem in your apartment, don’t let it fester. Act now to protect yourself in and out of court. Tell your landlord about the situation. Then, offer feasible solutions while documenting your progress. And if a landlord ignores your pleas for help, that’s when you can sue.

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Tiffany Nichols
Tiffany Nichols

Tiffany Nichols specializes in aesthetics, design, marketing, and manufacturing. She's a copywriter and editor for several home renovation companies in the U.S. and works alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. Her hobbies include architecture, art, mental health, and fashion.

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