Who should pay for the costs of clean-up following a rodent infestation?

UPDATED: Jan 12, 2012

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Who should pay for the costs of clean-up following a rodent infestation?

Our small business rents 1/2 a warehouse from a landlord and his small business. In the fall we started noticing a rodent problem in the warehouse. We contacted him 5 months ago and the owner pretty much brushed us off. We set traps and used some poison and killed off the problem. However there was some filth left behind that the landlord refused to do anything about. We hired service pro to come out and clean the left over filth. Owner is refusing to share any of this cost. Do we have any recourse?

Asked on January 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best way to answer your question as to whose responsibilty it is to pay for the costs to clean the rodent infestation in the unit you are renting is to carefully read the presumed written lease in that its terms and conditions control the obligations the landlord owes the tenant and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If the lease states whose responsibility it is for the clean up, then that is who is to pay the costs. If the lease is silent on the subject of costs of clean up, then it appears that it would be the tenant's responsibility to pay for such in your situation.

If you can prove that the landlord caused the rodent infestation, then you can bring an action against the landlord for the costs to clean up the problem.

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