What to do legally if landlord won’t get rid of mouse infestation?

We have had a mouse infestation for over 1 year. Every night we can watch at least 10 mice on our stove and in the morning my kitchen table is full of mice terds; it is just nasty. We constantly find fresh mice holes. All the manager has done is brought cheap mice traps from the dollar store and glue traps. They are multiplying every day. What can I do?

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you need to contac the health department and make a complaint. Then, you have several options. Every residential lease contains what is called an an implied "warranty of habitability". This is essentially a guarantee that a landlord gives a tenant tha thtey will live in a clean and safe (i.e. "habitable") premises. Consequently, if your landlord fails to perform necessary maintenance or needed repairs, you can: 

  1. Repair the problem and then deduct the cost from your rent;
  2. Terminate your lease and vacate the premises; or
  3. Withhold your rent until the completion of the repair(s). 

Note: Before pursuing any of these self-help remedies, you should consult with an attorney.  Failure to follow proper legal procedures result in legal trouble for you.


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