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Old 07-22-2008, 09:02 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,750 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi,
I just moved into an apartment 10 days ago. I have moved with my family. Since we have a small baby (about 8 months old), we had requested the apartment management to rent us an apartment in a clean and habitable condition considering the fact that we would be moving into the apartment with a baby.

To our surprise, we find that the carpet is horrible and the maintainance is very bad as we found insects and other bugs inside the apartment. Upon complaining to the management, they promised to put some pesticides inside and outside of the apartment. Since we are not comfortable with having baby crawl around a pesticide environment, we requested that the pesticide not be sprayed. The carpet is very unclean and the baby has developed rashes on his face and he starts to scratch his face over the rashes to make it even worse. This is when we decided to move out of the apartment and we informed the management about it. We did not want any remedy from the management after our move in as there was ample time to do so before we checked in. We feel that since they did not provide us a habitable apartment to rent, they stand to breach the lease agreement themselves. Also, they never mentioned about the bugs that would bother us in the apartment that we would be renting.
So, considering the fact that some of the information were not revealed to us at the time of renting the apartment and considering the health hazard for our baby in terms of rashes (insects and the ill-maintained carpet), is there any remedy for us(the lessee) to terminate the lease legally and move into another good apartment?

Thanks
Subramanya Sheshadri
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
111 posts, read 496,257 times
Reputation: 44
I am worried that I may be moving into the same situation. The mgmt will not let me see the actual apartment because it is occupied, so I am worried it might be very unclean and/or have bugs. May I ask you what the name of the community or town you are in to see if its the same place? As for your question, I would think there is a way to get out of the lease because of the poor condition it was in when you entered the apartment. Maybe call a lawyer and see if you can ask them, sometimes you can get advice just with a phone call.
Good luck.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:45 PM
 
446 posts, read 1,488,701 times
Reputation: 146
To the first poster with the baby: if you think management might give you issues, a simple thing to help might be a note from the baby's pediatrician saying that the child cannot live there. It can be simple and such, but it basically states that a medical doctor feels that the child living there is placing it in jeopardy. If management gives you further issue, tell them the pediatrician threatened to call social services. I would not get involved with an attorney at this point - so much cost involved.

To the second poster: the management is playing games with you regarding not letting you see the apartment because it is occupied. When I moved into my current apartment in Arlington two years ago, I wanted to of course see the actual unit. It was occupied at the time, but the management informed the tenant that the prospective tenant (me) needed to see. Management was of course with me at all times. I guess I would just be skeptical about what's going on here.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:46 PM
 
1,623 posts, read 4,334,582 times
Reputation: 1292
Quote:
Originally Posted by sshesh View Post
Hi,
I just moved into an apartment 10 days ago. I have moved with my family. Since we have a small baby (about 8 months old), we had requested the apartment management to rent us an apartment in a clean and habitable condition considering the fact that we would be moving into the apartment with a baby.

To our surprise, we find that the carpet is horrible and the maintainance is very bad as we found insects and other bugs inside the apartment. Upon complaining to the management, they promised to put some pesticides inside and outside of the apartment. Since we are not comfortable with having baby crawl around a pesticide environment, we requested that the pesticide not be sprayed. The carpet is very unclean and the baby has developed rashes on his face and he starts to scratch his face over the rashes to make it even worse. This is when we decided to move out of the apartment and we informed the management about it. We did not want any remedy from the management after our move in as there was ample time to do so before we checked in. We feel that since they did not provide us a habitable apartment to rent, they stand to breach the lease agreement themselves. Also, they never mentioned about the bugs that would bother us in the apartment that we would be renting.
So, considering the fact that some of the information were not revealed to us at the time of renting the apartment and considering the health hazard for our baby in terms of rashes (insects and the ill-maintained carpet), is there any remedy for us(the lessee) to terminate the lease legally and move into another good apartment?

Thanks
Subramanya Sheshadri
I used to do a lot of pro bono work in DC in tenant-landlord court, what you are describing doesn't sound like habitability issues. Bugs and a dirty carpet do not rise to the level that would normally allow you to break your lease, particularly if they offered to spray the apartment. You can always steam clean the carpet (or have them do it).

To make a credible habitability claim you need to file a complaint with housing authorities. They will inspect your place and issue a citation if they find any significant violations. But if its just a few bugs (not uncommon in a hot Virginian summer) and not a major infestation, holes, water leaks, mold, etc., I doubt it would be considered a violation at all.

I think your best bet might be to play the sympathy card and ask to be released from you lease because of your child's health issues. They might decide its not worth have an unhappy tenants and deal with a bunch of headaches. Don't be surprised if they refuse to refund your security deposit.
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