Mice are a common occurrence in close-knit living units, such as apartments. Though they are just as likely to appear in single-family homes, there is a problem when it comes to rats and mice in apartments. This, of course, being whose responsibility is it to get rid of the infestation.
“Can I withhold rent for mice?” Before you start arguing with your landlord as to who’s responsibility pest control for the rental property is, you should be informed. This can prevent many other issues while preserving a good relationship with whom you rent from.
Your responsibility as the renter
Renters have rights and responsibilities. It is your responsibility to keep your unit clean and maintained. You are also entitled to a property free of pests. The most important instrument you can have is your lease agreement. The lease will tell you everything you’ll need to know about pest control and who is responsible for what. This also will outline what you should do if you find your unit has a mice problem.
The standard lease mentions that renters should give landlords notice of the infestation within 24-48 hours. This allows the landlord to tend to the problem quickly, and give you a point of reference should the landlord not rectify the situation soon. Almost always, it’s a good idea to have some confirmation that you have alerted your landlord to the problem. This could be something as simple as giving them a written note and you keeping a copy.
Can I withhold rent for mice infestation?
It can feel right if not warranted withholding your rent money until a mice infestation is solved. It can also feel right to withhold rent if your landlord is refusing to handle the problem though you should check with local laws as well as your lease to determine whether or not you have a cause of action. Not paying rent can force an eviction. For this reason, it is imperative that you know your rights and responsibilities as a renter. These do vary from state to state, and from local ordinance to city.
There are some instances where you can withhold rent, which would be your landlord not fixing your HVAC systems. This would make it incredibly challenging to live in the unit during summer or winter, respectively. When it comes to a pest infestation like mice, you will want to always review your lease. When in doubt, contact legal counsel for a definite answer as to whether or not you can withhold rent.
Without a doubt, you should do your part as dictated by your lease. That means if you are to notify your landlord within a certain amount of time that you have an infestation problem, you do so. In short, you shouldn’t withhold rent, until you talk to an attorney. You can eliminate the probability of an eviction in taking the appropriate measure to get the pest control services you need. Should your landlord not comply you might have to take legal actions, in a civil suit against them to recoup any costs, should you pay for pest control yourself.
Getting rid of mice and preventing future infestation
Once you have alerted your landlord and the pest control has taken care of the mice infestation, what can you do to prevent further infestations? Some pest controllers advise that you should look for areas where the mice have entered your unit and make sure that these areas are sealed. You should also keep the food covered or put away.
In many cases, mice are looking for a comfortable environment filled with food and away from the elements so they can breed. By making your unit less inviting, or by using mouse traps, you could stop them from re-entering the property. The only sure way to prevent infestations is by using professional pest control services.
There’s nothing more frightening than mice scurrying about your apartment, except maybe cockroaches and bed bugs. Though the good news for renters is that you have methods for getting rid of rodents, and it starts with contacting your landlord. Your landlord, as long as you comply with your part of keeping your unit clean, is responsible for pest control management. This includes extermination services though you should double-check your lease agreement to verify that you are in compliance and that it is indeed their responsibility.
If you’re a landlord and are looking for the most effective way to maintain a pest-free rental property for your tenants, contact Bug Guys Pest Control today. Call our office today to schedule your rental property services at (760) 565-1203.