Wht to do if our property management company does not want to deal with the rodent issues we are having?

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Wht to do if our property management company does not want to deal with the rodent issues we are having?

I believe ot falls under the safety and health issue but they say no. What are our rights as the tenants and is there cause for getting out of our lease?

Asked on November 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

All rentals come with the "implied warranty of habitability," or the obligation on landlords to provide premises which are fit for their intended purpose--in this case, residence. While  the occasional rodent does not violate that warranty--the law does not require landlords to be perfect and provide completely rodent-free living--a significant rodent problem may breach the warranty. If the warranty is violated, then the tenants may be able to do one or more of the following: pay for exterimination themselves, then deduct the cost from their rent (called "withhold and deduct"); sue the landlord for compensation (a pro rata rent credit for the time they lived with rodents); seek a court order forcing the landlord to deal with the situation; or for very serious cases, treat the lease as terminated due to the "constructive" (or effective) eviction of having a major habitability issue. It would be best to consult with a landlord-tenant attorney to see if this case is serious enough as to violate the warranty and, if so, to determine the best course of action.


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