2024 Guide: Tenant Rights & Legal Actions for Cockroach Infestation in Texas Apartments

Facing a cockroach infestation in your Texas apartment? Learn your legal rights! Discover if you can break your lease, sue your apartment complex, and whether landlords are responsible for pest control in Texas. Get the definitive 2024 guide to navigate apartment laws and take action now.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Roaches In Apartment Law

Are Tenants Or Landlords Responsible For Bed Bugs?

The big debate in the rental space is whether tenants or landlords are responsible for bed bugs. It is the same as what is happening with cockroaches. A lot of the time, bed bugs and cockroaches are caused by the tenant. However, bed bugs are becoming more common and natural insects. So, who’s responsible? Both the tenant and landlord are responsible for bed bugs.

A landlord will likely pay you if you have bedbugs in your apartment. But if a tenant is in a home with bed bugs, the answer is a lot harder. Bed bugs could spread between apartments, so it is usually a landlord problem. In a home, that doesn’t happen as often.

When you’re the landlord of a home, you don’t have to provide pest control for the bed bugs if the infestation was created because of the tenant. It can however be challenging to prove that. To avoid any problems, you should always clearly define your lease pest control responsibilities.

Pest Control for Apartments

When it comes to an apartment complex, is your landlord responsible for pest control? Most cases yes. The landlord must provide a signed contract to explain which pests will be covered by the lease. Most apartments have landlords who treat the exterior of their apartment buildings every quarter. Then, they treat the inside of the apartment during that quarter when needed.

However, apartment pest control is not always available in every unit. The pest control company can spray your apartment if you are a tenant who is experiencing ants or roaches. However, if another tenant wants the inside of their unit sprayed, they will need to alert the property manager so that it can be done at the same time.

Apartment pest control is usually done on a quarterly basis, or whenever there is a bad infestation of a certain pest. It is difficult to determine whether the landlord is responsible for pest control, especially in apartment buildings. Pest control will be paid for by your landlord in most cases. The tenant is responsible for paying extra if multiple pesticides are needed to control the unit.

Roaches In Apartment Law


Arkansas law has very little to do with pest control. Arkansas is the only state that does not have a warranty of habitability. It also says that when you rent an apartment or house, you generally agree to accept it as is. This is because the landlord does not have to maintain the property.

This law causes a lot of issues for renters in Arkansas getting stuck with the bill for pests like bedbugs, which are almost always the landlord’s responsibilities in other states. This is something you should be aware of if you plan to rent Arkansas.

Get Ready For An Exterminator’S Inspection

Ask your landlord what to expect from the bed bug inspection. A pest management professional typically inspects the bed bug main site, which is your bed and mattress. They also examine other potential hiding spots such as closets and drawers. The professional can also determine the source of the infestation and find out if and how it spread. A professional might use the information to determine the date of infestation in a rental property to calculate the amount of financial responsibility. In some states, landlords can charge extermination costs to tenants who are reckless or willfully responsible for an infestation.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Take Care…

This is important before we get into the details of pest control.

Pests, vermin, and other uninvited house guests are dangerous to the health of the occupants. This means that you, as a landlord, have a responsibility to ensure the problem is corrected as soon as possible. Pest problems should be paid for upfront. You can always pay the bills later.

The first action should be remedying the issue regardless of who is responsible.

Tenants with unresponsive landlords should not let their neglect affect your health. Take care of the issue through DIY methods or by scheduling an appointment with a pest control service.

If you’re a landlord, you can call and schedule an appointment with a pest control service and, if you manage to fix the issue in time, you can cancel the appointment. Having this appointment documented will also prove in any litigation that remedial steps were being taken.

The first and most important step is to remedy the issue and then worry about who is financially responsible. Removing the disease-carrying insects and pests is priority #1.

As a landlord, your job is to make sure that your tenants are comfortable and safe in their home. You have to remove pests from the home as soon as possible, even if the tenant later becomes responsible.

Expert Advice on Pest Control in Apartments

Texas: Can Roaches Cause a Break in My Lease?

You might not be familiar with the laws in your state, but a landlord breaking your lease agreement doesn’t mean you have to end it. Texas law, for example, prohibits renters from ending a lease prematurely if their landlord breaches the lease terms.

The terms of your rental lease impose obligations on both you and your landlord. Both you and your landlord are responsible to maintain a safe environment and keep the property clean. Texas’ tenant laws on roaches prohibit early termination of a lease, particularly if they were brought onto the property by a tenant, or if poor housekeeping contributed to their problem.

This article contains 10 fascinating facts about cockroaches

Roaches In Apartment Law

What are the Roaches in Apartments?

According to the Journal of Economic Entomology, cockroaches are more common in apartments than houses.

With more people living in an area, there’s more food, waste, and garbage. Cockroaches can’t find food in an apartment if they have difficulty finding it.

Use of bait or traps is likely to make cockroaches flee and move to another place. Once your apartment is clear of traps or residual pesticides, the infestation can return. To get rid of the cockroaches in your apartment, all tenants must work together. Normally, this requires involvement from the landlord.

If a neighbor has a dirty, cluttered house, there are likely to be cockroaches. When one apartment gets overcrowded or runs low on resources, some cockroaches will seek homes in different apartments.

A wall between two apartments is all that separates them.

What is the cost of bed bug extermination?

The landlord usually takes care of extermination as long as they aren’t responsible for the infestation.

Many states have requirements for landlords that they provide housing. However, most courts do not consider infested homes to be habitable. The landlord usually takes care of the extermination, provided that the tenants didn’t bring the bed bugs home. It can be difficult to determine who brought the bedbugs home in multi-unit properties. Some tenants might move in and out frequently, others may have taken home bedding with them. In multi-unit properties, the landlord or their insurance often ends up paying for extermination and possibly tenant relocation.

It’s likely the landlord will hold the tenant responsible for any infestations and costs incurred, especially if the home is a one-family residence.

Note that renters’ insurance typically will not pay for eradication of bed bugs or bed bug-related damage. If a qualified party–such as a professional exterminator–determines that you caused the infestation, it’s likely that you will be paying the costs of extermination out of your own pocket.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Make Pictures

Take date-stamped pictures of the apartment before you move in. While most landlords will do it on their own, it is sensible to take your pictures.

Photographs and documentation are required for proof such as cockroach eggs or exoskeletons. A landlord is unlikely to photograph that during their walkthrough.

This protects you against liability, aside from checking for infestation. Apartments may be damaged by cockroaches. Their feces may stain walls and floors. By biting their feces, they can damage insulation, wood and furniture.

When it’s time to move out, you need to prove that you weren’t the one who caused the damage.


Vermont law requires tenants and landlords to each take responsibility depending on the origin of the infestation. According to the law, the owner of a dwelling is responsible for the extermination and maintenance of infestations in any of its dwelling units.

But it also states “The occupant of each dwelling unit shall maintain that part of the dwelling he or she exclusively occupies free from infestation and shall be responsible for extermination when the infestation is caused by his or her failure to maintain the dwelling unit”

Poor building maintenance and whole buildings problems are landlords’ problems. However, if pests get in your home, you have to take care of it.

Roaches In Apartment Law

What To Do If Your Landlord Doesn’T Exterminate The Bed Bugs

Depending on your state’s law, if your landlord fails to take care of a major bed bug problem, you might have options such as:

  • withholding rent
  • Add the extermination costs to your rent
  • Breaking your lease early and moving out
  • You can sue the landlord for any damage you cause, including the expense of pest control or having to replace items that have been damaged by bedbugs.

You should consult with an attorney before you attempt to resolve an impolite landlord. Some states don’t allow tenants to withhold rent or move out without penalty, and others might even put the responsibility on the tenant to exterminate bed bugs. Incorrectly following these steps could lead to tenants being liable for owing rent or losing their tenant’s tenancy.

How To Control Pests Safely

To get rid of pests and keep them from coming back, you need to deprive them of everything they need to survive: food, water, shelter, and ways to get around.

  • Notify your property manager immediately of any pests or conditions that could attract them – like water leaks, cracks in floors and walls, clutter, etc. – and ask for their immediate attention.
  • If your landlord or property manager does not fix these conditions in a timely manner, call 311 or visit NYC 311 to file a landlord maintenance complaint.
  • Place garbage in bags and containers, then take it out of your house every day
  • Store food in sealed containers.
  • If your neighbor is not maintaining their yard or other property and there are conditions that may cause rodent infestations on their property, call 311 or visit NYC 311 to file a rodent complaint.

Roaches In Apartment Law


Illinois has a policy regarding pest control. This policy states that the landlord is responsible for pest control, however, if the landlord is deemed to be the source of infestations, he or she may refuse to remove the pest or charge the tenant for the extermination.

The above policy applies to the entire state of Illinois. However, Chicago passed its own law regarding bed bugs. This is because bed bugs spread rapidly and so they can quickly become a problem for whole buildings and complexes in densely-populated cities.

Luckily for tenants, the law holds landlords financially responsible for clearing the infestation, as well as educating tenants about the prevention of bed bugs. There are certain conditions. Tenants must notify landlords within five days after seeing bed bugs. They also need to follow basic preventive policies such as bagging their belongings, making preparations for inspections or treatments.

Kill Them

There are many ways to kill cockroaches.

Gel bait is one way to get rid of roaches. Prepare your tenant to remove a large number of dead roaches.

Another method is to use bait stations. This is not a pleasant read. The bait station is where the roaches come in to get the poison. They then return to their colony and die. After eating the poisoned, deceased roaches they also die.

These first two methods use insecticides, which are effective, but they bring chemicals into the home. A natural approach may not be as effective. If the natural methods don’t work you can always use insecticides. Sometimes, you need to weigh which is worse. A cockroach infestation is worse than using chemical insecticides in this instance.

Here is a natural method for killing cockroaches:

Mix 3 parts boric acids and 1 part powdered Sugar. The powdered sugar attracts the roaches, and the boric acid, although nontoxic to people, is toxic to roaches. This powdered mix will be placed in areas that you have identified as having an infestation of cockroaches.

You can hire an exterminator if you do not want to remove cockroaches yourself from your rental. However, this will cost you a small fee. You have the choice of a standard pest control service that will use chemicals, or you can search for a natural pest control service.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Guidelines for Habitable Housing

While state laws regarding landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities vary between states, they all stipulate that you have a place to call home. An infestation of pests, such as roaches, makes the property uninhabitable. It is not the same thing as finding a roach in your home. If you see roaches during the day, it is easier to spot an infestation.

Check your floors, countertops and drawers, especially kitchen drawers, for roach feces. These droppings look like coffee grounds or pepper, or they might be longer and cylindrical if your infestation is from larger roaches. If the property is infested when you move in, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to correct the problem. If you’ve been living there a while, the responsibility could be yours.

Examine Your Lease

If you suspect you have an insect or rodent infestation in your home, the first thing you should do is check your lease, which may have a section explaining who is responsible for pest control and when. Some, for example, might say that you are responsible for taking care of a pest problem after a certain amount of time living in the unit. It might not say anything at all.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Use A Roach Repellent

Effective ways to repel cockroaches from your house include using cockroach repellents. Scatter boric acid along skirting boards and under appliances to kill existing roaches and prevent more from moving in. This process should be repeated at least once per week during the entire control period.

Get rid of all the clutter

Empty recycling boxes, woodpiles, overgrown shrubs, and long grasses can all harbor cockroaches. If the exterior of your home is looking cluttered, get to work clearing away the debris to reduce the number of roaches hanging around outside your house.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Withhold Rent

Tenants in many states can withhold rent from landlords if they aren’t able to address serious issues promptly. If you do not clear the pest problem, your tenants may be permitted to withhold rent until you remedy the issue.

Know Your Rights

Before calling the health department, make sure you know all your rights by checking your state’s civil code.

If the landlord disputes the claim that the lease has been violated, your rights as a tenant will be crucial. It’s illegal to knowingly rent someone an apartment with cockroaches as it’s a health risk.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Identify And Seal Up Entry Points

An effective way to keep cockroaches out of your house is to make sure they can’t get inside. Seal up cracks and crevices under doors and around windows and water pipes to keep roaches out.

Final Thoughts

It’s never a pleasant experience to discover roaches in your home. You should take your time and not hurry to terminate the rental agreement. Please communicate with your landlord, inform him of your concerns, and give him time to resolve the issue.

You have the right to sue your landlord if your landlord fails to remove the roach infestation.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Is A Roach Infestation Considered Uninhabitable?

Cockroaches are known to carry diseases and it is not recommended that you live in houses where large populations of them gather. A home might become uninhabitable if it has large roach populations. And then, you’ll have to pay for an exterminator to go back home.

Although small cockroach infestations are not as alarming, they can be quite dangerous. But if you find cockroaches in your dishwasher or refrigerator, they could contaminate your food. In that case, consider your options and contact the landlord. To find solutions, you must first identify the root cause of the problem.


Colorado’s warranty of habitability states specifically that a dwelling may be declared uninhabitable when it fails to provide “appropriate treatment in response to an infestation of rodents, vermin throughout a residential premises.” The landlord is responsible for pest control unless caused by the tenant.

Bed bugs are the only pest that is subject to specific legislation. In this case, tenants must immediately notify their landlord, who then has 96 days to respond to the problem.

Roaches In Apartment Law


There are no clear laws around pest control in Georgia. Although there is an implied guarantee of habitability, Georgia does not have specific laws regarding pest control. This includes those that are usually not caused by tenant actions like bed bugs).

It is therefore important that you review your lease before renting. In cases that don’t directly influence the health and safety of the home, landlords have no explicit legal responsibility in Georgia. Keep this in mind to avoid ending up with a hefty pest control bill.

Roaches In Apartment Law

Roaches In Apartment Law

My apartment is infested with rats. What Are My Legal Rights To Break The Lease Or Possibly Sue?

I have been suffering from roach infestation in my apartment. They have attempted to exterminate the problem three times.

Talk to a lawyer. It is free!

Browse related questions Victor David Huhem

Roaches In Apartment Law

Pest Control Responsibilities For Landlords In Nyc

New York City, after Boston and Philadelphia is third in pest infestations. The city had 15% of its residents complaining about infestations from rats, and 16% of those complained about cockroaches. This pest problem is so bad that the mayor of Brooklyn declared war on rodents in 2017 with a $32 million plan for reducing the population of rats in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx.

New York state laws require that tenants live in pest-free homes. Local Law 55 (2018 – Class C) can lead to the landlord committing a violation for allowing pests into the tenants' apartment. Similarly, the landlord is also required to take care of bed bug removal in a unit Here is the owner's list of responsibilities according to both state laws:


Roaches In Apartment Law


New York City expects its owners to:

To ensure indoor allergen safety, conduct annual inspections of the rental units.

Respond to any complaints made by tenants or Department of Housing Preservation & Development.

Make sure the interior allergens are removed from the property before you allow tenants to move in.

The tenant should be given a copy and a Local Law 55 factsheet. A notice explaining the landlord’s responsibility to pest-proof the apartment must also be provided.

All infestations must be removed and integrated pest management (IPM) should be used.

The EPA refers to IPM (Integrated Pest Management) as a holistic pest control method that makes use of environmentally-friendly and effective methods. It seeks to determine the best ways to eradicate critters, while doing the minimum damage possible to the environment, property and people. IPMs, which are located in New York City, include:


Roaches In Apartment Law

Related Articles

Renter's Rights about Mold and Mildew in Texas. Texas Laws regarding Landlords. Texas Apartment Occupancy Laws. Texas tenants rights concerning roaches, among other issues are outlined at Texas Property Code Chapter 92. The sections of this chapter cover all reasons that tenants are allowed to end their leases. However, they can be more confusing than their title suggests. Before they abandon a rental property, renters should research all the laws that apply.

How to End an Apartment Lease If You Are Losing Your Income


Roaches In Apartment Law

Can You Break A Lease Because Of Roaches? If So, How To Do It?

It may be possible for you to end your lease if your home is infested by roaches. According to lawyer and CEO at Legal. David Reischer: "The law recognizes that there is an implied 'warranty of habitability' in all residential leases that the premises are fit and habitable for human habitation".

To resolve your problem with your landlord/homeowner, follow these steps:

Begin by talking to your landlord. Document the situation thoroughly and then contact your landlord as soon as you can. They should, depending on the terms of your tenancy agreement arrange for an exterminator to visit and spray for roaches. A trusted landlord who is also the owner of Accidental. The emphasis of Domenick Tiziano is to allow your landlord or property manager to deal with the problem rather than trying to end your lease immediately. "Most of the times a good landlord can resolve the issue quickly," he said. You can discuss peacefully ending your lease with your landlord if your landlord does not manage to eliminate the infestation.

A letter explaining the nature of the problem is best: In the event that your landlord doesn't respond to you initial complaint, send it in writing. Pen a letter or email detailing the severity and continuation of the problem, preferably with time and date-stamped pictures and/or video proof, and request that your landlord takes the appropriate action. You can break a lease if your landlord ignores you or fails to resolve the problem. David Reischer added that "a tenant who refuses to hire a pest controller to remove roaches from a residence can legally violate the terms of the lease, which includes the payment of future rents due and possibly the possibility of allowing them to vacate the property."

Seek legal counsel: Shawn Breyer at Atlanta House Buyers suggests that landlords not cooperate with Shawn Breyer. Shawn advises tenants to seek the advice of a tenant-landlord law firm and to ask how it's possible to cancel a lease in their state using the documentation you've created. A lawyer can help you decide how best to proceed.

An apartment with problems from vermin can usually be rescinded. It is important to consider the following factors: your landlord, the apartment you are renting, the location you live in and how comprehensive your documentation about the problem.

There are several ways you can assist your case:


Roaches In Apartment Law


Cockroach infestations can be distressing, not least because of how difficult they are to eradicate. Your apartment's location may also play a part in your recurring problems. Cockroaches are most likely to be found in buildings with many units, or those that live close to densely-populated areas.

It is possible to end your lease by removing vermin from your property. Find out more about what your rights are as a renter in your particular state by reading the rental laws.


Are you able to break a lease when your apartment is occupied by roaches

It may be possible for you to end your lease if your home is infested by roaches. You can break your lease if they ignore you or refuse to address the issue. …

Are Landlords Responsible For Roaches?

Landlords can be held responsible for common pests such as ants and bedbugs. A landlord must take responsibility for termites.

What should you do when your apartment building has multiple roaches

  1. Inform your landlord or property manager. When it comes to pests, this should be the first thing you do.
  2. Clean up, then wash it all again.
  3. Make sure to seal all holes and cracks in your doors, windows, or plumbing.
  4. Reputable sprays and treatments are recommended. April 24, 2019.

Are Roaches possible in Apartments?

Are roaches able to travel between apartments? Roaches have a tendency to easily move between apartments in search food, water and shelter. You may have an infestation in neighboring apartments even if there isn't a problem.

.Roaches In Apartment Law

See also  What Kills Cockroaches Instantly
Dear Adam Smith is a data-driven assistance tool for online research. There’s so much information out there, including social networks, blogs, forums, comments, and articles to name a few. Thousands of new reviews are published every day. It’s…

Related Posts

1 of 173