Is it the landlord’s responsibility to get rid of fleas outside my home and a dead cat underneath my house?

UPDATED: May 30, 2012

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Is it the landlord’s responsibility to get rid of fleas outside my home and a dead cat underneath my house?

My grandmother lives in a duplex and a lot of stray cats are around her house (which she hates), because of the alley behind her house. There are fleas outside and now one has died underneath her apartment, and has the whole house smelling.

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord does have to get rid of the dead cat underneath the apartment, since that is affecting health and habitability--the smell, and possibly disease, is getting into the apartment from it. All rentals have what's called the "implied warranty of habitability," or the obligation on the landlord to make sure the premises are fit for inhabitation. A dead cat under the premises, with attendent smell and health risks, would seem to violate this obligation.

The landord would also have to exterminate fleas inside the home, again as part of this implied warranty.

The landlord does not need to address fleas in an alley outside the home, unless the alley is part of the landlord's property--if it is, it should be covered by the implied warranty, but if it is city property or belongs to a different property owner, the landlord does not have obligations in regards to it.

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