Who’s responsiblefor gettng rid ofa rodent, the tenant or landlord?

I’ve been in my house for 11 months and  I saw a mouse in my kitchen.

Asked on September 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, it is the landlord's responsibility to insure that rented premises are inhabitable, which includes pest removal or extermination; even in the absence of a specific lease provision to that effect, this would be mandated by the "implied warranty of habitabilty" which is built into all residential leases. However, there is often an exception is the rodent (or insect, or mold, etc.) problem can be shown to be caused by the tenant. Therefore, if the problem is that you, as tenant, do not take out the garbage, leave food laying around, or otherwise cause the problem, in that case, the landlord might not be responsible for dealing with it. Also, the landlord might not be responsible if a tenant has refused to cooperate with prior extermination, etc. attempts. However, other than that, exterimation and other pest removal issues are the landlord's responsibility.


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