Can an apartment complex get in trouble for not taking care of a rodent problem?

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Can an apartment complex get in trouble for not taking care of a rodent problem?

We have squirrles in are attice we already had one get in are apartment they are chewing on things all day and night they are keeping us up all night. I am worried about them chewing on wires and starting a fire or worse me or my husband getting bit if they do get in. We asked if they were going to take care of it but nothing has been done.

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

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.  The squirrel infestation is a health and safety issue which constitutes a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  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.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs 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.  Another alternative is for the tenant to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  You can also contact your local housing code inspector, who can bring an enforcement action against the landlord for code violations, and compel the landlord to take care of the squirrel infestation.


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