Any advice from those with experience in the realm or lawyer-folk is greatly appreciated.
I recently moved to my new city from the other coast and I love it. An old friend I studied abroad with found the place and we'd been living together for several months before she found bedbugs in her room. We'd already had a couple of issues with our landlord and the overall condition of the building we'd been living in, but the rent was cheap and the location was great so we hadn't made a big deal about the drippy sink or the man living in a car in our driveway (who apparently knew the building manager). But of course, bed bugs were something else. We told the landlord right away, who said she'd call an exterminator and have it dealt with.
A week later, no appointments had been scheduled, so I called her and she told me that it was our responsibility to take care of setting it up and paying for it because we must have brought them in. After a little back and forth, I found out that our upstairs neighbors had been treated for bugs less than 2 months prior but she insisted that they don't travel unit to unit and that my roommate or I must have brought them in. I finally get her to agree to cover treatment and call the exterminator and schedule the appointment.
He comes by and treats the apartment and tells us the unit is guaranteed and that they will continue to treat anytime for the next 90 days if they haven't been eradicated. Within a day we continue to see them crawling through the ceiling vents in the bathroom and kitchen. At this point, I've had enough and with only 3 months left on the lease, I make sure all of my things are bed bug free (and throw away what isn't) and move into a new apartment. We have since had the exterminator come back 2 more times, but there is no stopping them. I found out from talking with the exterminator, in what he insisted had to be an "off the record conversation" that the building (6 units) has had every unit treated at least 3 times in the last 5 years and that the landlord refuses to have the whole place fumigated, she just has it done unit by unit when tenants find them, so it's a shitty game of musical chairs.
In the meantime, the landlord has since rented out 2 empty units to new tenants, both of whom she didn't disclose the bed bug situation to and who have both found them in the newly rented units. When I moved out, I assumed the problem would get dealt with and I could find a subletter for the remainder, but I've now paid for 2 months of rent for an unlivable apartment. Is there any kind of recourse for the fact that she knowingly continues to rent out units with an infestation and then doesn't have it treated properly? I have 2 months left on my lease and have already spent $1300 on an apartment that I no longer live in. I'd love advice on how to get the hell out of that lease or what my options are.
****Thanks for all of the comments! I filed a complaint with the city inspector and made an appointment to meet with an attorney about what my next steps should be. I'm bringing the other tenants with me, hopefully we can get something done.