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If my rental house is infested with cockroaches, is that a health code violation?

German cockroach. Copyright © 2007 David Monniaux

Q. If my house is infested with German cockroaches (I rent the house), is that a health code violation? I live in New Hanover County (but not in Wilmington city limits) and am wondering if I should call New Hanover County Code Enforcement to report a zoning/building code violation? The owner and property management company are ignoring the infestation. I have children and the roaches are very unsanitary.

A. “There is no violation as far as New Hanover County Code Enforcement,” said Joshua Swift, deputy director of the county health department. “The person should review his/her agreed upon conditions of contract or lease agreement and may consider consulting an attorney.”

Unfortunately, given our temperate climate and our proximity to water, cockroaches are a fairly constant presence in coastal North Carolina. Asking your landlord to spray, sprinkling boric acid or setting roach traps can greatly reduce the problem.


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3 Responses to “ If my rental house is infested with cockroaches, is that a health code violation?”

  1. On November 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm Stanley wrote:

    I was told by a ex landlord that he was required to have his apartments sprayed once a month.

  2. On December 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm Billy wrote:

    If you have German Cockroaches then 9 times out if 10 it is your fault. German Cockroaches survive very well in filthy environments. German Cockroaches do not like clean environments and do not stay in clean environments very long.

  3. On December 6, 2012 at 12:03 am NC wrote:

    Call an exterminator or go to a retailer and buy a product to treat the home. If pest control isn’t taken care of by the landlord in your lease agreement (and it usually isn’t when renting a house) then it’s absolutely your responsibility.

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