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    lynderae's Avatar
    lynderae Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Dec 11, 2008, 11:50 AM
    I want to sue my Landlord-Negligence & Health Hazard
    We rented a house in March of this year.
    At the end of April we found out we had a major Rat infestation.
    My husband is allergic to cats, but we got one anyway & this seems to have kept them from coming on the main floor.
    But the attic has a them big time.
    My landlord will not have anyone come & look at the problem.
    All he has done is brought us poison or reimbursed us for it.
    He has not bothered to look to find out where they are coming it to try & fix it.
    We have 2 children ages 12 & 5, whose rooms were upstairs near where the problem is.
    Because of this we had to move them both into a tiny bedrrom downstairs, for fear they will be bitten while asleep.
    The landlord has not cleaned any of the feces or dead carcasses up.
    I am in my living room right now & the smell of rotting flesh is abundant.
    Also, with this problem we have had 1000's of maggots come from a wall in a cupboard & cockroaches, too.
    My landlord claims that everyone has these problems-rats, maggots, & roaches-along with the massive abundance of flies that hatch.
    I am 38 & have lived all over the US & have never once had any of these pests at any place I have ever resided.
    Because of these problems I have had extreme amounts of stress-probably more than I have ever had in my life. I can't sleep listening to rats above me, worried they are coming downstairs-having to disinfect my kitchen after every use. I have become anxious & tightly wound with family members.
    I am sick of living in these conditions & I don't feel I should have to pay for exterminators & pysch bills because of his negligence.
    I live in Virginia & am really unsure of my first step.
    Do I get a lawyer?
    Call the Fair Housing?
    Health Dept.
    Please help me before I lose my mind.
    lynderae's Avatar
    lynderae Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #2

    Dec 11, 2008, 03:15 PM

    Anyone??
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7691
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    #3

    Dec 11, 2008, 03:52 PM

    If you documented the problem it should allow you to break the lease and move.

    He has been providing poison, I see little else he could do except hire a professional, have you asked for that.
    lynderae's Avatar
    lynderae Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Dec 11, 2008, 04:33 PM

    Yes, I have ased him to call a professional, but he says he sees no need.
    The poison does the job until the next batch. He also said there is no reason to look for the place(s) they are coming in because they will just find another way. He thinks it is acceptable that this problem is occurring & expects us to clean up the mess in the attic & dispose of bodies. I would NEVER have moved in this house had I known about this. He has acknowledged that this is not the something new. Unbelievable.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #5

    Dec 11, 2008, 04:50 PM

    You don't necessarily want to sue your landlord, you want to break the lease. To do that you need to document the requests for cleanup and the unhealthful conditions.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7691
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    #6

    Dec 11, 2008, 05:06 PM

    I know of places in the inner city where it would not be possible to stop them, you catch them, kill them and deal with them forever.

    It has to do with areas around you, And once they die, they are usually where they can not be found,

    The issue to me would have been to hire a professional and deduct it from the rent when they refused and the problem still went on.

    Then you have that issue to deal with, not the rat issue
    lynderae's Avatar
    lynderae Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Dec 11, 2008, 05:16 PM

    Thank you for your responses.
    I really would love to sue;)
    I think it is bs to be able to rent property to someone & not disclose this sort of thing.
    We are not inner city, either.
    So, I haven't documented anything & am basically screwed. I understand that this sort of thing is not a big deal to some, but I have feel I have aged 10 yrs in the last 9 months. It has really taken an emotional toll on me.
    & I feel that I have almost been scammed & it pisses me off having to give this slumlord a red cent.
    twinkiedooter's Avatar
    twinkiedooter Posts: 12,172, Reputation: 1054
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    #8

    Dec 11, 2008, 05:27 PM

    Sure you could sue. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. You need to take some initiative here and see if you can't find where they are getting in. Also, is there any food left in the children's bedroom that will/can draw them into the house? The outside areas need to be checked for obvious holes from the exterior. Also the interior areas need to be thoroughly sealed and examined. I am sorry that you feel the landlord must clean up the carcases. Most don't and won't. Buy some rubber gloves and get some trash bags and clean up the carcases or you will have worse than diseases running rampant in your home. Now with the cold weather they will nest more and more in your home. It seems that they enter on the first floor and then go to the second floor through the walls. You definitely need to stop them from entering your home. If it snows where you are, look for their tracks entering your home. At least you will locate their entry holes and know where it needs sealed off.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #9

    Dec 11, 2008, 06:12 PM

    You've been in the house since March - 9 months - with rotting carcasses and maggots, you have children and you haven't cleaned up because it's your landlord's property and you have some sort of stalemate going on?

    I live in the country and have field mice. I pick up their little dead bodies and dispose of them.

    Have you called your local Health Department?

    And, yes, you can sue anybody for anything - question is whether you can win and why you lived with this for 9 months. Landlord will probably claim the rats were not there before now; you will claim they were. The Court will look at the proof and make a decision.
    lynderae's Avatar
    lynderae Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Dec 11, 2008, 07:01 PM

    We have cleaned up.
    I have killed & cleaned up the maggots & roaches & my dh has disposed of the rats when able to get to them.
    But, when they are in the walls it makes it a bit difficult.
    But he is out of town a lot & I have had ask a neighbor & a friend several times to remove them.
    I would be OK w/the idea of picking up a tiny mouse , but these rats are the size of small cats-bigger than kittens, even.
    So, we aren't just letting all of this just go-jeez.
    & we are clean. No food out of the kitchen/dining area.
    & there is no food at all in the cupboard where the maggots have been.
    And I have lived this way for 9 months because I can't afford to get an exterminator or move at this time.
    & there is no stalemate going on.
    I have been nothing but nice to him-too nice.
    I am just sick of it.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #11

    Dec 11, 2008, 08:19 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by lynderae View Post
    We have cleaned up.
    I have killed & cleaned up the maggots & roaches & my dh has disposed of the rats when able to get to them.
    But, when they are in the walls it makes it a bit difficult.
    But he is out of town a lot & I have had ask a neighbor & a friend several times to remove them.
    I would be ok w/the idea of picking up a tiny mouse , but these rats are the size of small cats-bigger than kittens, even.
    So, we aren't just letting all of this just go-jeez.
    & we are clean. No food out of the kitchen/dining area.
    & there is no food at all in the cupboard where the maggots have been.
    And I have lived this way for 9 months because I can't afford to get an exterminator or move at this time.
    & there is no stalemate going on.
    I have been nothing but nice to him-too nice.
    I am just sick of it.

    Have you called the local Health Department?

    As I advised - your choices are move or don't move and sue or don't sue. If your neighbors/friends are willing to testify that this problem has existed since you moved in and the landlord has done nothing, by all means go to Court.

    What - if you know - are or were the maggots feeding on? They need a host and don't stray far from that host.

    I don't know that you need to do more than has been suggested - traps and poison, close up the entrances. If the rats are as big as kittens it should be easy to find how they are accessing the property.

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