What to do legally if landlord won’t get rid of mouse infestation?

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2011

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What to do legally if landlord won’t get rid of mouse infestation?

We have had a mouse infestation for over 1 year. Every night we can watch at least 10 mice on our stove and in the morning my kitchen table is full of mice terds; it is just nasty. We constantly find fresh mice holes. All the manager has done is brought cheap mice traps from the dollar store and glue traps. They are multiplying every day. What can I do?

Asked on October 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, you need to contac the health department and make a complaint. Then, you have several options. Every residential lease contains what is called an an implied "warranty of habitability". This is essentially a guarantee that a landlord gives a tenant tha thtey will live in a clean and safe (i.e. "habitable") premises. Consequently, if your landlord fails to perform necessary maintenance or needed repairs, you can: 

  1. Repair the problem and then deduct the cost from your rent;
  2. Terminate your lease and vacate the premises; or
  3. Withhold your rent until the completion of the repair(s). 

Note: Before pursuing any of these self-help remedies, you should consult with an attorney.  Failure to follow proper legal procedures result in legal trouble for you.

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.

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