If our home is infested with yellow jackets inside the home, is landlord responsible?

Over 100 bees killed and collected. My son has been stung twice.

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is the landlord's responsiblity to remove the bees from your rental.  In every lease, there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs (hire someone to remove the bees) and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  You can also contact the local housing code inspector, who can bring an enforcement action against the landlord for housing code violations.  Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.


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