If the house we rented has fleas, who pays for the exterminator?

Asked on August 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, a landlord is required to correct conditions which can affect the livability of a rental unit; this is known as the "implied warranty of habitability". Since pest infestations can rendera  premises unsafe and/or unsanitary the landlord should deal with them. Yet, this all presumes that the tenant is not reponsible for the condition. So, for example, if a neighbor carelessly or deliberately did something to bring fleas into your unit then your landlord would be reponsible for extermination. That having been said however, fleas are usually considered the tenant’s responsibility since their pet is typically the cause of the infestation. And if this is the case, if you don't pay for removal your landlord can do it and charge you.

Note: Read your lease if you have one. Many times, the responsibility for such a situaton is spelled out there.

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