What to do about a bat infestation if we are bringing our baby coming home soon?

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What to do about a bat infestation if we are bringing our baby coming home soon?

My fiance and myself rent an apartment with a bat infestation. We recently had a baby that was born prematurely. We have told our landlord several times about the bats and his response was “I don’t know what to tell you”. We are afraid to bring our newborn home from the hospital into these living conditions. Our daughter is in the NICU. What can we do about our landlord?

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

All rentals come with what's called the "implied warranty of habitability"; this is an obligation the law puts on landlords, that they maintain the premises in a fashion fit for their intended use--in this case, residence by a family. Vermin, animals, insects and other infestations, if severe and untreated by the landlord, can violate this warranty. You could, if necessary, sue you landlord, seeking a court order forcing him to correct the situation. Since you ideally should retain an attorney to help you, it would be probably be best to begin with a letter from the lawyer requesting that the landlord bring in an exteriminator and letting him know that, with a newborne about to come home, that you will take legal action if necessary.

Another alternative would be to hire an exterminator  yourself, then seek to recover the cost from the landlord. You generally must have provided written notice to the landlord of the problem first. A lawyer can advise you as to how best to do this.


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