Legal Q&A: Are roaches my responsibility?


Question: How can we determine if the roaches in the apartment were the result of bad housekeeping? Is it our responsibility to get rid of the roaches?

Ted Kimball Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Ted Kimball
Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP

Answer: Ask your pest control professional to give his or her opinion on how the roaches came into the apartment unit. The court will rely heavily on expert testimony in these cases. If you can prove the tenant was responsible for the infestation, they are responsible for the cost of removal.

Question: If our tenant sublets, and the sublessee defaults in the rent, do I give a notice to the tenant or the sublessee?

Answer: You serve one notice with both of their names on it to both. They should be evicted in the same action.

Question: We have a security building with gated underground parking. I advertise the property as a secure community. It is an important selling point for many applicants. Is this a good idea?

Answer: Not from a legal perspective, because it may imply that you are responsible for the resident’s health and safety from unknown third parties and create liability where none existed.

Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP is a full service real estate law firm representing residential and commercial property owners and managers. This article is for general information purposes only. Laws may have changed since this article was published. Before acting, be sure to receive legal advice from our office. If you have questions, please contact your local KTS office. For contact information, please visit our website: For past Legal Alerts, Questions & Answers, and Legal Articles, please consult the resource library section of our website.

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