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How long does a landlord have to get rid of roaches in Florida?/Can I break my lease because of roaches in Florida? Part II

Posted by Debi Rumph | Sep 08, 2023 | 7 Comments

Welcome back! If you haven't read Part I of this article yet, we highly recommend you start here:  How long does a landlord have to get rid of roaches in Florida?/Can I break my lease because of roaches in Florida?  Part I. In that article, we explore whether your landlord has the obligation to get rid of the roaches.  This article assumes that the landlord has that duty.

Now, let's dive into the burning question: assuming your landlord is responsible for exterminating roaches, how long do they have to do it?: 

Deciphering the Florida Statute

Fla. Stat. s. 83.51(2)(a), is basically the rulebook for roach eviction in Florida. Unfortunately, it's a bit like trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces. It states that landlords in dwellings other than single-family homes or duplexes must provide "reasonable provisions" for roach extermination. If the roach situation gets so bad that you need to vacate temporarily, your landlord isn't responsible for damages but must cut you some slack on rent. You're allowed to temporarily leave for a maximum of 4 days with 7 days written notice, if extermination is necessary.

The Elusive Seven-Day Requirement

Now, here's where things get tricky. The statute doesn't specify when your landlord is obligated to perform pest control or when the landlord must give you a seven-day notice to vacate for extermination. Unfortunately, the statute leaves tenants with more questions than answers.

Getting Creative: Adding a Seven-Day Deadline

But don't despair! Tenants can get a bit creative here. The best-case scenario is that your landlord will have seven (7) days to deal with the roaches. How? By attempting to make Fla. Stat. s. 83.56(1) apply:

 

"If the landlord materially fails to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement."

Conclusion

By using strategic tactics, it may be possible to give your landlord a seven-day ultimatum to address the roach problem. If they do not act, you can terminate your lease and say goodbye to the landlord and the roaches. 

However, the legal process can be complicated, and it is advisable to seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney who can assess your situation, represent you, or guide you through the lease termination process. If you need help dealing with your landlord, please contact us. We provide solutions for tenants like you and welcome you to fill out our online form for more information about our available services.

About the Author

Debi Rumph

The Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph and Debi's Tenant Clinic Corner About Us Since July 2005, The Residential Realty Law Firm provided a wide range of legal services as it related to home ownership. However, on July 1, 2012, The Residential Realty Law Firm became the Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph. Debi pr...

Comments

Sara Vanderford Reply

Posted Sep 27, 2023 at 01:03:32

I appreciate the ideology the landlord would beresponsi ke

Debi Rumph Reply

Posted Sep 27, 2023 at 04:11:53

Sara, I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s important to note that in Florida, landlords can transfer their responsibilities to tenants. And even when the landlord is responsible, they may try to avoid their obligation. That’s why it’s crucial for tenants to be proactive and resourceful in protecting their rights.

Debi Rumph Reply

Posted Oct 20, 2023 at 10:41:53

Thanks. It just takes a little creativity to make it happen.

Victor Stevens Reply

Posted Dec 16, 2023 at 12:34:36

I need help breaking my lease. My apartment is infested with cockroaches.

Debi Rumph Reply

Posted Dec 18, 2023 at 08:06:21

Victor, we are sorry to hear that your landlord is failing to provide you with adequate pest control. We can assist you.

petra Reply

Posted Jan 20, 2024 at 05:40:15

I just moved in 2 months ago to my condo the Roches are everywhere they come and spray but nothing is helping i purchase everything you can buy and still no change can i brake the lease?

Debi Rumph Reply

Posted Jan 21, 2024 at 15:30:39

Your ability to break your lease depends on the lease provisions, your county’s housing codes, and the level of the infestation. Usually, we have to strategize to make it clear our clients’ rights to break the lease for failure of pest control.

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