What to do if my landlord will not pay for needed extermination?

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What to do if my landlord will not pay for needed extermination?

I have a rat, mice, chipmunk, squirrel infestation. Exterminator came to house and said it’s very hazardous. I have 3 kids and my landlord refuses service.

Asked on November 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

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 means that the landlord is required 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 as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs within a reasonable time, the tenant has the following remedies:  The tenant can make the repairs (in your case pay for the exterminator) 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 option would be to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The infestation you described is a health and safety issue which constitutes a breach of the implied warranty of habitability. 


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