Can you break a lease because of roaches?

by | Last updated Jun 28, 2023 | Roaches

This is a question many people grapple with, especially if they just moved into a new apartment only to realize the place is infested with cockroaches. Continue reading to understand more about leases and the roaches in apartment laws.

Moving to a new apartment is usually coupled with both stress and excitement at the same time. However, learning that your new place has a roach infestation can be crushing. Roach control can be a bit challenging, particularly if you moved to a multi-unit housing block, where the bugs can quickly move from one apartment to another, or if you moved to a densely populated neighborhood.

So you just signed a lease and found roaches? What do you do? Can you break a lease because of roaches?

Can you break a lease because of roaches?

Fortunately,  having a cockroach infestation problem can be grounds enough to break a lease. But don’t be too quick to cancel your rental lease. From a legal perspective, you should first allow the landlord or landlady to address the problem.

If the landlord or landlady does not address the issue, he or she is breaking the lease agreement by providing  an unhealthy habitat for human dwelling. In this case, you can break the lease without any legal or monetary fines.

Related reading: I Saw One Cockroach, Should I be Worried?

Tenants And Landlords: -Who Is Responsible For Roaches Control

When the Landlord Is Responsible

Cockroaches can be a big problem for both tenants and property owners. Although they are typically there to eat left-over food (how kind of them), the main question is, are landlords responsible for roaches’ control?

Unless the apartment occupant triggers the infestation, cockroach control is the landlord’s or landlady’s responsibility. Bedbugs, roaches, mice, and other such home infiltrators can endanger human wellbeing. According to the law, to be precise, “the roaches in apartment laws.”  Landlords are bound by law to ensure their units or apartments meet the basic health requirements.

When The Tenant Is Responsible

Tenants are required by law to undertake the roach control measures if their living habits led to the infestation. A good example is when the tenant lives in an unclean environment where lack of cleanness is apparent.

Roaches like nesting in areas where they can easily access food include dirty carpet, food crumbs on the floor, or unwashed dishes. Overflowing rubbish bins are also a popular attraction. The owner of the house has to prove this by providing evidence of poor hygienic conditions.


Can a landlord get in trouble for roaches?

Yes, the landlord can get into trouble with the law, especially if you have evidence that proves you tried engaging him into solving the existing roach infestation. Generally speaking, your landlord is expected by law to furnish you with a clean and habitable apartment, which includes workable plumbing and electrical systems and a house that does not have pests.

Legislation on roaches control responsibility between homeowners and tenants varies in different states. However, they all agree that the homeowner should supply you with a habitable place.

Note: always document the actions taken. This will save you a lot of time if the landlord decides to take you to court when you choose to cancel the lease.

Can I Break My Lease Because Of Roaches In Texas?

If you are accustomed to other states’ rules, you may be shocked and appalled to learn that a breach of your leasing agreement by the landlord is not cause for you to break your lease. For example, Texas law prohibits a renter from breaking the lease early if the landlord breaches the lease provisions or the terms contradict state law.

Rental lease terms require you and landlords to fulfill certain obligations. Landlords are responsible for providing a clean and secure place to stay while you, as the tenant, must maintain and keep the house in good shape. As a result, Texas tenant laws over roaches do not permit early lease termination, especially if the tenant somehow brought the cockroaches to the property or escalated the issue by poor housekeeping.

Can You Break A Lease Due To Roaches Arizona?

The Arizona tenant and homeowner law mandates you as the tenant to keep the rented unit you occupy clean and safe. In contrast, the homeowner is obligated by law to do whatever is possible to keep the property in a healthy and habitable condition.

Because the roach infestation a serious health condition that is seriously threatening your health.  It is, therefore, the landlord’s responsibility to handle the roach infection, as long as the problem is not a product of your poor hygiene.

If you plan to break the lease agreement due to your landlord’s negligence, you should first issue him with a written notice capturing all the violations and giving a specified time frame on which the landlord should resolve the issue.

Note: please make sure you document everything (with photos and videos if possible ), plus have a document showing how you tried to reach out to the landlord to try and solve the issue.

Can I Break My Lease Because Of Roaches California?

Landlords in California are required by law to make sure that their property follows the standard hygiene standards. Though not that simple, you can be allowed to break your lease if you have a cockroach infestation.

However, it is prudent first to notify your landlord and give him or her time to try and solve the issue at hand.

What If You Can’t Break Your Lease?

When push comes to shove, and you cannot break your lease, you don’t have any other option but to tackle the problem head-on. Look for a professional pest controller and let them work out a solution for you.


Save $$$ by comparing up to 3 quotes from trusted local pest control companies.

Related reading: Ever Wonder Why Roaches Die On Their Back?

Related reading: Roaches Facts and Information


Discovering roaches in your house is never a pleasant experience. However, don’t be too fast to getting out of your rental lease agreement. Please communicate with the landlord, let him know your issues, and give them time to fix the problem.

If the landlord is not keen on solving the roach infestation problem, you have a legal ground to go to court and break your lease without any financial penalties. So, Will Roaches Force You To Cancel Your Lease?

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