Q: How do I determine if a rental property meets health and safety codes?
I just signed a lease for an apartment and was set to move in this weekend, but found that it was a) left in a filthy state by the previous tenant (dirt and grime caked to the floor, dog hair, etc) and had enough cockroaches that the cleaning service I hired wouldn't clean due to sanitation concerns. My landlord has been nearly impossible to reach, continually saying he'll "look into it and call me back in a few hours" but then neglecting to do so. My lease on my current apartment ends soon but I'm not comfortable moving into this new property in the state that it's in. What can I do?
A: You determine if it meets any codes by identifying the codes and checking with the governing authorities that enforce such codes.
A: Your issue deals more with the habitability of your apartment than health and safety codes. The landlord owes you a habitable living space. That requires just basic living conditions including heating. An infestation is considered a violation of the implied warranty of habitability in every lease. One remedy you have is to repair the problem yourself and deduct the cost from rent. Make sure you make any notifications concerning the condition of the property to the landlord in writing.
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