Is the landord responsible for the removal of a huge snake which has only been seen once by the tenant?

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Is the landord responsible for the removal of a huge snake which has only been seen once by the tenant?

The tenant is concerned because has they have 2 small children that play in the yard.

Asked on September 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Florida Statutes section 83.51 lists a landlord's duties to a tenant and the rental property and the duties are different between single family homes and multi-unit buildings.  It sounds like this unit is a single family home.  If so, the landlord is not responsible for pest control, and the statute does not list snakes at all.   

The lease can modify these duties, so it is important to review your lease.  If the lease says the landlord is responsible for pest control, there is an argument that the landlord should do something about the snake.  If the lease says the tenant is responsible for pest control, or it says nothing about pest control, then the tenant is responsible.

If this is a multi-unit building (more than a single home or duplex), then the landlord is responsible for pest control and maintenance of the common areas.  Still, the statute does not say anything specific about snakes. 

If the landlord asked me for a personal opinion on this, I would advise him or her to call a wildlife trapper to look into it if the landlord can afford to do so.  This would keep the tenant happy, keep the small children safe, promote good will, and avoid any argument that the landlord is somehow liable.  If you asked me for a legal opinion, I would say the landlord is probably not responsible for doing anything about the snake but I would have to know all the facts.


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