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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 | 11 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.

Debbie Reply

Posted Apr 03, 2024 at 13:10:01

I have themtoo.do I have 2 pay I 0ayrent there is no pes4 control

Debi Rumph Reply

Posted Apr 03, 2024 at 15:03:20

Debbie, we are so sorry to hear that you’re having an issue with pest control with your landlord. To answer your question, there MAY be a process that you can go through to withhold rent for the failure of pest control. You’ll want to consult Fla. Stat. s. 83.56(1) and your written lease agreement, if any.

Irean Shaker Reply

Posted Apr 27, 2024 at 15:04:25

Hello!

My finance and I noticed a crock roach infestation from the day we started moving in. We noted it on our apartment inspection form and alerted the and front desk who stated the past resident never reported these sightings since we were told there was no management in place yet to the best thing to do is call and request pest co tell every Wednesday until our problem is solved. …. After request pest control which we pay for part of the lease fees… we noticed no difference and when we mentioned it to the pest control man servicing our place last week we were told by him “ to stop calling and give it a month for the problem to resolve itself”…

On top of this issue we were asked not to move in on our move in date until after 5pm because cleaners were in their cleaning which was fine until we came in to a disgusting dirty paint all over the floors apartment. Please help us!!!

Debi Rumph Reply

Posted Apr 28, 2024 at 14:43:54

Irean,

I am sorry to hear about the roach infestation you and your fiancé are experiencing in your new apartment. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be, especially when the problem persists despite pest control efforts and the initial lack of management. Finding a clean and roach-free living space is essential, and it’s disheartening when that expectation isn’t met.

Based on your situation, it might be worth exploring further action since the infestation was present on move-in day and hasn’t been effectively addressed despite repeated requests. I recommend using our Talk to the Attorney option, where we can help you explore options to terminate your lease, and/or give the landlord the incentive to come into compliance sooner rather than later. You can learn more about this option here: https://www.debirumph.com/exploring-the-talk-to-the-attorney-session-with-the-law-offices-of-debi-v-rumph

Unfortunately, if you live in an apartment complex where not everyone is getting pest control services, the situation is unlikely to resolve itself.

We are here to help you and your family achieve a clean and sanitary living environment.

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