Tenant Rights Rat Infestation
Are you dealing with mice or rats in your rental unit?
Rats In Your Apartment? We Can Help
No one ever wants pests, such as mice or rats, in their home! These vermin bring dirt and disease, cause allergies, and damage your property. Unfortunately, many California tenants in the Los Angeles area suffer from rodent infestations in their rental units.
If you’re dealing with disturbing noises, droppings left on floors and furniture, and even the sight of a critter skittering along the walls, you aren’t alone. In fact, pest control company Orkin rated Los Angeles the second most rat infested city in the US!
However, if you’re a tenant in Los Angeles facing a rodent infestation, you have options. A lawyer can help make sure your landlord restores your rental home to a safe, comfortable, pest-free environment, and that you get fair compensation for any damages.
Do you have rats or mice in your Los Angeles rental? Speak with us today!
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What Are The Signs Of A Rodent Infestation?
Mice and rats, like most wild animals, try to avoid contact with humans – so even if they’re living in your rental home, you may not see them immediately. Rodents like to hide in hard to see places, and prefer to come out at night when it’s harder to see them in the dark. Even if you haven’t personally witnessed a mouse or a rat, you might have an infestation if you notice any of these signs:
Droppings – Mice and rats won’t be kind enough to use the toilet or flush after themselves – they’ll leave their feces all over your rental home. If you suspect that mice or rats may have made themselves at home, look for dark, oblong shaped droppings. These will usually around the edges or corners of a room, where the animals prefer to move and hide. Have you seen mouse or rat droppings in your rental home? Get help today.
Scratching sounds – Though they’d prefer to remain silent and undetected, mice and rats do make telltale noises when they move through walls or across floors. If you hear noises that sound like scratching, squeaking, skittering, or other rodent-like rustlings, you may be hearing pests within your home. But you don’t have to live with the situation – you can make some noise about it yourself, and get help from professionals. Speak with an attorney today.
Visible rodent infestation – Once you’ve seen, or trapped, multiple mice or rats inside your home, enough is enough. Your landlord has a responsibility under California law to eliminate all infestations of vermin inside residential rental property.
Your landlord has a legal requirement to make sure that all rental units are properly maintained. If your apartment is infested with vermin such as mice, rats, or other rodents, contact a tenant attorney at the Brinton Firm today and let us help.
Dealing With Mice or Rats In Your Rental
If you’re suffering from a pest problem in your rental apartment or house, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are the things you can do if mice or rats show up in your home:
Document The Problem – Keep track of what you see, smell, hear, and otherwise notice when it comes to mice and rats in your home. Note down the date that you make these observations, and any measures you take to address the problem. Take photographs or videos if possible. You should also document any communication you have with neighbors, your landlord, and pest control professionals.
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Landlord Responsibilities In Handling Rat Infestations
In Los Angeles, California, landlords are legally obligated to ensure that their rental units are safe and habitable for tenants. This includes maintaining a living environment free from pests such as rats. If a rat infestation occurs, landlords have several responsibilities:
How long they have to address the issue
While the exact timeframe may vary depending on the severity of the infestation and local regulations, landlords are generally expected to take immediate action upon being notified of a rat infestation. This can include making necessary repairs to the property, replacing damaged appliances, hiring pest control professionals, and cleaning up after the pests.
What to do if the landlord refuses to address
If a landlord refuses to address a rat infestation, tenants have several options. One of the most immediate actions a tenant can take is to contact the local Health Department. Rodents are a serious health hazard, carrying diseases such as leptospirosis, salmonella, hantavirus, typhus, and rabies. The Los Angeles Department of Environmental Health will investigate significant rodent infestations in residential properties and can order a landlord to perform pest control and repair the property.
How to prove the landlord was/is aware of the infestation
Proving that a landlord was aware of a rat infestation can be challenging, but there are several steps tenants can take. First, always alert your landlord in writing about the infestation and keep a copy of this communication. If the landlord fails to take action, tenants can also seek help from a tenant’s rights attorney. They can provide guidance on how to protect your rights as a renter, including your right to a habitable, pest-free home.
Remember, it’s important to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and responsibilities in your specific situation.
Health Risks Of Rat Infestations
In the short term, rats can be carriers of various diseases such as leptospirosis, hantavirus, and salmonellosis. These can be directly transmitted to humans through rat urine or droppings or indirectly via fleas and ticks that have fed on infected rats.
Over the long term, continual exposure to rat infestations can lead to significant health risks such as chronic respiratory issues, especially in individuals with pre-existing conditions like asthma. Children and pets are at an increased risk due to their tendencies to explore and their lower immune defenses. This underscores the importance of swift and effective action in dealing with rat infestations to protect you, your children, and your pets.
How The Brinton Firm Can Help
If you’re dealing with a rat infestation that your landlord is neglecting, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. That’s where The Brinton Firm comes in. As experts in tenant rights, we understand the intricacies of property laws and the responsibilities of landlords. We can help you navigate through this stressful situation, ensuring that your rights are upheld and you’re provided with the habitable living conditions you deserve.
From providing guidance on the appropriate steps to take when your landlord refuses to address the issue, to assisting you in compiling the necessary evidence to demonstrate the landlord’s awareness of the infestation, our team is here to support you at every step.
We also understand that health and wellbeing are a priority. Rat infestations pose serious health risks, especially to children and pets, and we are dedicated to ensuring these risks are minimized. By advocating for your rights and pushing for immediate rectification of the issue, we aim to create a safe and comfortable living environment for you and your family.
Don’t let a negligent landlord put you at risk. Trust The Brinton Firm to fight for your tenant rights and help you overcome this distressing situation.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the first steps I should take if I discover a rat infestation in my rental property?
Can I withhold rent or break my lease if there's a rat infestation?
How can a tenant lawyer help me deal with a rat infestation?
What are the signs of a severe rat infestation that I should be aware of?
Can I be evicted for reporting a rat infestation to the health department?
What preventative measures can I take to avoid a rat infestation in my rental property?
Can I get a rent reduction or compensation due to a rat infestation?
What are my rights if my children or pets become ill due to a rat infestation?
Can I take legal action if a rat infestation has damaged my personal belongings?
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