If I am moving out of my current apartment due to bedbugs, can I get my security deposit back?

UPDATED: Dec 18, 2011

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If I am moving out of my current apartment due to bedbugs, can I get my security deposit back?

I am subletting my current apartment from an individual landlord. It is actually an illegal sublease situation. I moved in last month and ever since I have been suffering from bedbugs in the apartment. I finally decided to break the lease and move out but my landlord will not give back my security deposit. Since it is no fault of my own that the apartment is infested with bedbug and I am actually a victim here, do I have the right to fight for it?

Asked on December 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the apartment is in and of itself illegal, you need to report him to the building and safety department (probably no certificate of occupancy) and the local consumer protection bureau that handles landlord tenant matters. Further, the health department should be informed of the bed bugs and then inform your landlord that you have reported him and demand your security back for a) renting what you now know is an illegal room and b) having a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs have become a huge issue in many big city apartments and if your state or local city or county has now instituted legislation or regulations involving issues of bed bugs you might be able to ensure your security deposit and then some are given to you.

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