What are my ights if my landlord did not use rat poison properly in common areas and now my pet is dead?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2012

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What are my ights if my landlord did not use rat poison properly in common areas and now my pet is dead?

My landlord sprinkled rat poison pellets in a ground surface planter right outside my door, in a common courtyard, for the 1st time since I’ve lived there (3 years). No tenants were notified of this and it was not a routine pest control practice. The day after she spread the poison, my rabbit was outside and the manager happened to walk by, told us to keep her away from the area. We took it back inside but the rabbit died a week later. I only want a reimbursement of my vet bills and am not looking to sue for damages. The pellets were spread around which was not a recommended way to use it.

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your landlord was negligent (unreasonably careless) in her use of poison, she is potentially liable for  the costs or injuries she caused--for example, vet bills; cost of a new rabbit. If she will not pay voluntarily, you'd have to sue her for the money; one option is to file suit in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney, saving on legal fees.

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