Can we break our lease due to an insect infestation? 6 Answers as of August 22, 2011

Can I break my lease of 12 months due to a heavy gnat infestation? Gnats are biting my wife and myself every night. Getting into our fridge an landing on our food. We requested pest control but were denied due to the nature of gnats, also we tried various techniques to resolve the problem ourselves. Can we break our lease with out incurring penalty?

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Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
It sounds like the place is uninhabitable I don't know why you are still staying there. I would leave and call the health department. From a legal perspective, whether you are breaking the lease turns on whether the place in uninhabitable and I do not have enough facts to say one way or another.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/19/2011
Frances R. Johnson
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
What you describe does not technically meet the requirements of the Colorado statute. The issue is whether your rental in uninhabitable due to a condition the landlord can address (an issue capable of being remedied by and the responsibility of the landlord).
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/19/2011
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
Yes, there is a warranty of habitability, and if the gnats are everywhere and biting and the landlord has done nothing, you can break the lease as the place may be uninhabitable, unless the gnats were there as a result of something you did. Check with Pine Tree Legal assistance on their website
Answer Applies to: Maine
Replied: 8/19/2011
Law Office of Jared Altman
Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
Were the gnats there when you first moved in? If so, then I think that the landlord must cure it or you can break your lease. If the problem arose later, then it depends what your lease says. You will have to read it carefully. If it doesn't say whose responsible, then I think it would be the landlord's problem. But before you can leave, the problem must be so bad that it is tantamount to an eviction, called a "constructive eviction", because you didn't actually get thrown out but you still can't really live there.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/18/2011
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