Who's responsible for pest control? Renter says Rosenberg apartment hasn't fixed cockroach issue

Courtney Carpenter Image
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Renter paying pest control says apartment hasn't fixed roach issue
A renter in Rosenberg says she's been dealing with a cockroach problem without help from her apartment, even though she pays them for pest control.

ROSENBERG, Texas (KTRK) -- A renter in Rosenberg reached out to ABC13, fed up with a cockroach problem she says she's been dealing with largely without the help of her apartment complex, even though she pays them for pest control.

"The last thing I want to do is go in the closet, get her (daughter) a dress, and there goes a roach," renter Shonesha Short said.

It is not the kind of environment she wants to raise her young daughter in.

"It got to the point where I would open the cabinet to get my seasoning, and they'll be in my seasoning, and I mean it's just residue everywhere," Short said.

She has lived at the Westwood Village apartments in Rosenberg for nearly four years. Short says that despite keeping her place clean, she started seeing roaches within months of moving in. Now, for almost a year, even though she's asked for help and pays a monthly fee for pest control, a company has not come out.

"They used to send pest control out, and then there's been so many different managers here. Now, they do not send pest control out," Short said.

Another renter at the same complex shared videos with ABC13 of the roach problem she's trying to get under control.

As of now, Houston-based Rockstar Capital owns the apartment complex. Despite multiple attempts to ask them about the problem, they have not responded.

So, what does the law say about this? Does pest control land on the landlord or the tenant?

ABC13 spoke with an attorney who explains landlords have to provide a habitable space, which includes not being bug infested. There is more grey area once a tenant has been living there, especially if the renters are leaving food out or are being negligent in some way that attracts pests.

However, if there is a requirement in your lease for the landlord to provide pest control and they are not, that would be considered a breach of contract. You can ultimately get out of your lease if it states the landlord is supposed to provide pest control and they are not.

You will have to give the landlord proper notice about the issue and not owe any rent before terminating your lease. More information on what to do if your written request for a fix is ignored can be found on the Texas Law Help website.

Do you have questions about your rent? Are you struggling to get help from a landlord? Send us your questions, and we will look into it.

READ RELATED STORY: Renter says abandoned apartment in SW Houston led to roach infestation: 'This is no quality of life'

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