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Old 08-23-2013, 01:55 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,633 times
Reputation: 10
Default Break Lease Because of On Going Roach Problem

I live in Fort Myers and have had a roach problem for over 6 months,management has been spraying every friday and I clean up all dead roaches right after,flushing down the toilet.Would like to break the lease but was told I would have to pay for 2 months rent...which makes it hard to pay for another place. Do I have a legal chance of leaving?
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Meredith NH
819 posts, read 957,538 times
Reputation: 497
Cockroaches are pretty much part of the landscape but you can get rid of them for light money.Buy a bag of food grade diatomacous earth at farm store.....probably cost you $10 or so.Spread it in every nook and cranny with a paint brush,even outside if you are renting a house.......critters will all be gone in a week or 10 days.When they are gone,just vac it up.
Had a wicked flea infestation with my animals last year and I spread it around.Got rid of everything...fleas cockroaches spiders
It is totally safe....some people mix it with OJ and drink it.....good for skin,bones hair.
Google it up.Prettycool stuff.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:29 AM
 
46 posts, read 33,843 times
Reputation: 68
Yes you can break the lease. Have you documented the roach problem with the LL? Sent the LL certified letters stating the problem? Now send him a certified letter outlining the entire issue from start to now and your conversations (complaints) to him and his efforts and responses to you. Tell him that he has 7 days to eliminate the infestation our you will be quitting the lease. I'd also call your local vector control (government agency) and file a complaint.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Cape Coral
184 posts, read 112,582 times
Reputation: 228
Sam gave you a great solution, we use DE as our primary interior treatment. Just don't use it if you have pharaoh, ghost or crazy ants. It will cause an opposite effect, multiple colonies in a short period of time.

As for breaking the lease, look at you lease and reference Florida tenancy law, "Renters Rights". The best you can do is withhold rent.

The problem with insects, the landlord can say it is cause and effect.

Example: You do not keep a clean house, therefore we cannot control the insects.

I am not saying that is true, I am saying it is a tactic.

You write a letter, you site the problem and the numerous times some one has been out. You then site Florida Renter Law and make the following blanket statement.

According to our Lease Agreement, XYZ is responsible for insect control in our home. As stated above we have had numerous visits with no success. According to rights afforded me under Florida Statutes 1234(?). I am withholding September rent until this problem has been satisfied. If I am forced to hire an outside contractor to remedy this problem, I will deduct their fee from all rents owed going forward.

Please respond in writing within three days.

Here is a link with more info:

Consumer Tip: RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF TENANTS AND LANDLORDS


Don't let anyone intimidate you. If they try to file an eviction, stay with it, keep your resolve and force them to take you to court, don't walk away. Once a judge is involved, as long as you follow the Renter Rights play book, keep good records and give notice in writing via certified or FedEx / UPS. A judge will clean their clock.

Most people either pay up or walk, as long as you are honest, a judge will advocate for you. Don't be scared to push them hard. Just make sure you do everything in writing and make sure you do everything on the checklist you will be given when they serve you an eviction notice.

Evictions in Fort Myers can cost 750.00 to start the legal stuff. Most landlords use the official paperwork but never actually file it, they work on fear and intimidation. The minute you push back, they usually fold.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by BugManTPC; 08-25-2013 at 06:44 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Broward County FL
654 posts, read 402,361 times
Reputation: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmorey8 View Post
I live in Fort Myers and have had a roach problem for over 6 months,management has been spraying every friday and I clean up all dead roaches right after,flushing down the toilet.Would like to break the lease but was told I would have to pay for 2 months rent...which makes it hard to pay for another place. Do I have a legal chance of leaving?
If they ignored the problem you would be more likely to be able to break the lease, but since they are making an effort and the expense to get rid of them every week there is not much you can do. Get some roach traps yourself, they help too.

It will be hard to find a place without roaches in south Florida. Even if you are clean they can still survive on the glue from boxes and they don't need much if any water.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Broward County FL
654 posts, read 402,361 times
Reputation: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugManTPC View Post
Evictions in Fort Myers can cost 750.00 to start the legal stuff. Most landlords use the official paperwork but never actually file it, they work on fear and intimidation. The minute you push back, they usually fold.

I hope this helps.
But if you do get evicted good luck finding somewhere else to live,. you will have to live with the hoodrats and a slumlord that doesn't do a background check.
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:14 AM
 
4,402 posts, read 4,825,970 times
Reputation: 4207
You can't with hold rent without going thru the courts first. Your landlord is trying to fix the situation so trying to weasle out of your lease isnt' going to work.

You can legally break your lease by following the early termination clause in your lease.

I'm curious as to where in Fort Myers you live. The only homes that have roach infestations are the filthy ones. Palmettos bugs you'll see quite often, but german roaches means filth.

Do what Sam suggested.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Cape Coral
184 posts, read 112,582 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
You can't with hold rent without going thru the courts first. Your landlord is trying to fix the situation so trying to weasle out of your lease isnt' going to work.

With holding rent is the only "Right" a tenant has when they are in an "unlivable" situation. Once the LL files eviction proceedings because of with holding rent, then the tenant must give the rent to the court until the matter is solved. If you are in dispute with a LL, until a settlement is reached all future rents are paid to the court.

Respectfully, step 1 is a letter demanding corrective action, step 2 is a letter informing the LL of holding rent until satisfaction, step 3 is eviction proceedings if LL disagrees with Tenant. Step 4 is notifying LL and court your intentions of disputing the eviction and paying rent to court. Step 5 is usually a lot of scramble by the LL because they hate actually going to court for mediation.

The finale depends on who the Liar is, if the LL is, they drop the action "Usually", LL with court orders equal a public record and future problems. If the Tenant is, the judge puts them out on their ear.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:10 AM
 
4,402 posts, read 4,825,970 times
Reputation: 4207
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugManTPC View Post
With holding rent is the only "Right" a tenant has when they are in an "unlivable" situation. Once the LL files eviction proceedings because of with holding rent, then the tenant must give the rent to the court until the matter is solved. If you are in dispute with a LL, until a settlement is reached all future rents are paid to the court.

Respectfully, step 1 is a letter demanding corrective action, step 2 is a letter informing the LL of holding rent until satisfaction, step 3 is eviction proceedings if LL disagrees with Tenant. Step 4 is notifying LL and court your intentions of disputing the eviction and paying rent to court. Step 5 is usually a lot of scramble by the LL because they hate actually going to court for mediation.

The finale depends on who the Liar is, if the LL is, they drop the action "Usually", LL with court orders equal a public record and future problems. If the Tenant is, the judge puts them out on their ear.
.

I agree with your steps (just send the letter certified), but it sounds like the landlord is trying to rectify the situation, not ignore it.

The OP could go to court, but based on what I'm reading, the landlord can prove treatment and that's all he has to do. The tenant is also responsible for making sure the unit is clean. Remember, all the landlord has to do is give notice (12-24hrs can't remember which) to inspect and they will inspect every nook and cranny of the unit and will take pictures. If it's found that the tenant isn't keeping the unit clean and is contributing to the bug issue, game over.

It takes time to get rid of the roaches and the op doesn't say how many times the place has been treated (how many Fridays?) nor do they say what kind of 'unit' they live in. ie: house or multi-unit complex. If it's a house, the yard needs to be treated as well. If it's a multi-unit dwelling, every unit and the grounds have to be treated.

I wish the OP luck, I've lived here for over 30 yrs and have never had a roach problem. Sugar ants, yeah...and those were enough for me!
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:06 PM
 
Location: just wandering around
8,233 posts, read 7,403,375 times
Reputation: 3425
Infestation or a few roaches? There are people who see one bug and freak out. I met a woman who slept in her car after seeing a palmetto bug.

I'm a little puzzled by the weekly spraying and cleaning up "right after" since roaches usually don't start running out of the walls while the pest control company is treating the house. It does seem as if the landlord is making an effort to fix the problem.

Regarding pest control, there are dozens of threads on City-Data on this subject, since bugs are an everyday part of living in the South, not just in Florida. The above suggestions are excellent, but completely eliminating the problem really depends on why you're seeing so many bugs.

By the way, I disagree that small roaches are from filth, although that certainly can be a major contributing factor. I'll challenge anyone to find a single crumb on my counter tops or floors and I just killed a small roach. We've had a very rainy, humid summer and they can crawl in through pipes or cracks. By the way, there are about 70 species of roaches, so it's not easy to readily identify them.

In a multi-family dwelling, it's often difficult to control bugs since you can't make your neighbors put away their leftover pizza. Regarding the area of Fort Myers, I don't see why that makes a difference. I've lived in luxury high-rises in Boston that had roaches. Rich people are slobs too.
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