Is thelandlord responsible for the cost of an exterminator?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is thelandlord responsible for the cost of an exterminator?

I rent a single family home, which has a severe rodent (mice) problem. The owner refuses to pay for an exterminator to come out because she claims that it is a normal occurrence to have mice here in the winter. We noticed the problem as soon as we moved in and it is only getting worse. The mice are mainly in the kitchen and are getting into the food supply. I believe this to be a health risk. Is the owner responsible for the cost of an exterminator? Does the owner have a legal obligation to notify possible tenants of such infestations? I have already spent over $100 in mouse traps.

Asked on February 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

All rental properties come with an implied warranty of habitability, or the requirement that the rental premises be fit for their intended purpose (e.g. residence). Conditions that effect habitability violate the warranty; therefore, a landlord is responsible for getting an exteriminator if the pest problem is sufficient to affect habitability. But the landlord does not have to bring in an exterminator for a small problem, which does not affect habitability. Thus, the answer depends on how severe the problem is.

Note the following:

1) A lease can reapportion the responsibility, so if  you have a lease making you responsible for extermination, that is legal.

2) If the tenant causes the infestation, such as by not correctly throwing out garbage, it would be the tenant's cost to deal with the situation.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption