How do I get a landlord to uphold their end of the lease regardingpest infestations?

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How do I get a landlord to uphold their end of the lease regardingpest infestations?

I own my mobile home but rent the lot. Under the lease agreement it says that the owners will take care of infestations.We have had a cluster fly problem; they are growing in numbers every year. The owners refuse to spray. I filed a petition last year and got at least 8 neighbors to sign, nothing was ever done. What can I do next?

Asked on August 11, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the landlord, seeking any of the following: 1) a court order that he honor his lease obligation (as well as his obligation under the "implied warranty of habitability," if the flies are in fact affecting habitability); (2) monetary damages--compensation for living with the flies; or (3) *possibly* if the flies are bad enough, to get out of the lease (if  you want to).

It may be possible to pay for extermination yourself and then withhold the cost from the rent, but this can be risky--done wrong, it can result in you breaching the lease and being subject to a lawsuit and/or eviction. If you want to go down this route, you're best off retaining a  lawyer (you and the neighbors can split the cost) and letting the lawyer help you and communicate with the landlord.


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