Signed a lease 6/11 . That night I was prepared to move in. I got to the apartment and there were roaches everywhere. I did not move any of my property In fear that it would get damaged I saw possible mice droppings as well. I’m gonna sent a notice of default on lease agreement due to the following:
Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33 property 33-1324 Landlord to maintain fit premise.
A. Landlord shall:
1. Comply with the requirement of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety as prescribed in section 9-1303.
9-1303. Material affect on health and safety of occupants
(I) infestation of insects, vermin or rodents
I called the day after to try and get out of the contract due to the infestation. They basically said I can’t because of the contract.
My friend lives in the complex in a different build and has only saw like 1 to 2 roaches.
I feel like they knew that there was a pest infestation in they unit and they rented to me anyway . They have a really high buyout contract as well.
Any landlords out there have some advise? I can email pictures for your opinions.
Hi @Joscelyn S Johnson . I hate that your apartment has this serious health problem. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it...
Were you given the opportunity to inspect this rental prior to signing the lease agreement? Also, what does your lease say about the responsibility of management to address pest infestations?
Lastly, pictures are fine but nothing brings a nasty situation to life like video. I'd (carefully) go back in and record the full situation in vivid and disgusting detail. For extra credit, buy a copy of the local newspaper and include the front page (including the date) as part of the video, to establish when the video was taken. (Just like in the movies...)
I was allowed to inspect the unit before hand and a saw a few dead roaches and they told me they previously sprayed. I didn’t think much of it until I came back at night . I saw roaches every where. Kitchen walls, living room floor corners and walls , and in closets and sinks and around the toilet bowls . I’ll go back tonight and take video since they are most active then. They have that they provide pest sprayings in the lease but this is a infestation. Spraying is a great preventative but it doesn’t solve the problem. There are lots gaps wear the flooring and wall meets and some sagging in flooring . Thank you for your advise I’m hoping they will let me out of it but it doesn’t seem like they will. There is a buyout contract with 60 day notice required
Did you give them any money? If so, then be sure you ask for your money back in writing, stating the above codes, give them a deadline to give it back and tell them you will take them to small claims court if they don't. If they don't, then file a claim with small claims court as soon as you can (when the clerk's office opens up, if it hasn't yet).
That's really all you can do. AZ is what's called a "duty to mitigate" state, which means the landlord can only charge you for what they've actually lost out of pocket, due to you canceling the contract. Anyway, you can just let the judge sort it out. But, file the claim as soon as you can. Technically, they should get a judgment before they can send it to a collection agency, but you want to avoid that possibility.
Your landlord is not providing you with a safe, habitable space to occupy. They did not disclose to you a rodent & bug infestation that they must have known about prior to you signing a lease given there were dead roaches prior to your move-in.
I looked into Arizona tenant protection laws and pasted below is what I was able to discover that directly reflects your current situation.
I am not an attorney, I do not claim anything after this sentence to be legal advice in any capacity. Please consult with someone who can legally provide real estate law advice where you live.
The Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (ARLTA) requires a tenant to “keep that part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit” and to “dispose from his dwelling unit all ashes, rubbish, garbage and other waste in a clean and safe manner” (A.R.S. 33-1341) while the landlord must “comply with the requirements of applicable building codes materially affecting health and safety”; “make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition”; and “keep all common areas of the premises in a clean and safe condition” (A.R.S. 33-1324). Given that an “infestation of insects, vermin or rodents” is considered to be condition materially affecting health and safety (A.R.S. 9-1303), as a general rule pest control is the landlord’s responsibility so long as the problem is not the result of some act or omission on the part of the tenant. If the infestation is a serious one, a tenant who wishes to terminate the rental agreement because their landlord has violated the obligation to “maintain fit premises” is permitted by the ARLTA to deliver a written notice to the landlord identifying the violation and stating that the rental agreement will terminate ten days after receipt of the notice if the violation is not fixed within ten days (or, if the problem is materially affecting the tenant’s health and safety, that the rental agreement will terminate five days after receipt of the notice if the violation is not fixed within five days) (A.R.S. 33-1361(A)). A tenant who wishes to terminate a rental agreement on these grounds should document carefully both the condition of the dwelling (with photographs or video and witnesses) and the tenant’s attempts to notify the landlord of the problem.