DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a mouse in my new single-family home. I have lived here for only four months, so I called my landlord to let him know. From my understanding, there might be some holes in the walls that need to be patched up so no other rodents get inside. My landlord told me that I should go out and purchase some traps and seek an exterminator.
As a renter, I know that this should be his responsibility to fix, but he is refusing to pay for any sort of traps or exterminator. He told me that the home is in top condition, and if any vermin or rodents get inside, it is due to my poor upkeep and living conditions -- therefore, I am responsible. None of this sounds right to me. What do you think, and what should I do next? -- Uninvited Guests
DEAR UNINVITED GUESTS: Check your local landlord-tenant laws and regulations so that you learn what his responsibilities are. You can point out the written rules for him so that he knows that he is supposed to provide regular extermination services. (This is true in many cities.) Invite him to inspect your home himself so that he can see your level of cleanliness. Recommend a compromise: Agree to buy mouse traps if he provides regular extermination service to you and the other tenants.
If he refuses, you may have to take him to court. Should this become your reality, document everything -- the way you keep your apartment, evidence of rodents in your home and your landlord’s responses to you with dates.