What rights doIhave as a tenant if there are rats in my apartment?

UPDATED: Oct 16, 2011

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What rights doIhave as a tenant if there are rats in my apartment?

The apartment managers have had a pest control company out and they put steel wool in the hole and left. That was about 6 months ago. The rats have now eaten a hole through the sheetrock on an outside wall.

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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In every state in this country a landlord for a residential lease has an obligation to provide safe and habitable housing for his or her tenants. Safe and habitable housing means a rental free from a rodent problem. Rodents are notorious for carrying diseases that can infect humans.

In your situation if your landlord through his or her apartment managers have done minimal work in resolving the rat problem at your complex, you need to report the situation to the local health department and request an inspection of your unit. If the inspection turns up a problem with the unit, there will be a report which will most likely force the landlord to get the needed eradication of the rodent problem at your unit stepped up.

Good luck.

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