Is my landlord required to exterminate fleas and maintain the garden?

Is my landlord required to exterminate fleas inside home, the tenant upstairs allows her cats to enter and exit and I have strays outside as well. Also is he required to maintain the lawn which is out of control (tall weeds by window and in backyard, grass not cut for a month or more?

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is required to remediate (or correct) conditions which can affect habitability. Since pest infestations can render premises not safely or hygienically inhabitable, the landlord should deal with the fleas (he can likely look to recover the cost from any tenant, like your upstairs neighbor, who carelessly or deliberately does things which cause the problem--but regardless of whether he can seek reimbursement, he'd have to correct the problem). However, overgrown grass does not affect habitability, so he would not need to address that issue, unless he is violating some local municipal ordinance about grass, yards, etc.

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