Is the landlord responsible for rodent control?

Full Question:

I have been renting from my landlord for about two years. There is a problem with pigeons perching at our house. They peck at the house and windows and leave feces everywhere, including cars and clothes left out to dry. They also make there way into our attic somehow. We also find mice and mice feces all over our apartment, especially in the pantry. Very unsanitary to say the least. I have made my landlord aware many times and it doesn't seem to be of a priority to her. Can you please guide me as to whether or not this is the landlord’s responsibility to hire a professional to rid these rodents?
04/03/2007   |   Category: Landlord Ten... » Lease Violat...   |   State: Connecticut   |   #2575


First you need to consult your lease to see if this situation is covered or referred to in any way. If the lease is silent on this issue, then the Connecticut General Statutes must be consulted.

A Landlord's responsibilities includes the following:

(a) A landlord shall:

(1) Comply with the requirements of chapter 368o and all applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety of both the state or any political subdivision thereof;

(2) make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition, except where the premises are intentionally rendered unfit or uninhabitable by the tenant, a member of his family or other person on the premises with his consent, in which case such duty shall be the responsibility of the tenant.

A Tenant's responsibilities includes the following:

A tenant shall:

(a) Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of any building, housing or fire code materially affecting health and safety;

(b) keep such part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit.

In general, a warranty of habitability requires landlords to maintain safe and sanitary housing fit for human habitation. The warranty of habitability provides protection against those conditions that materially affect the health and safety of the tenants. In the rental of a dwelling unit, an implied warranty of habitability exists without regard to the length of the term. The implied warranty of habitability exists in all oral or written leases of dwelling, which includes houses, condominiums, and apartments.

Factors to be considered in determining whether a condition or defect constitutes an actionable breach of the warranty include: (1) whether the condition violates a housing law, regulation, or ordinance; (2) the nature and seriousness of the defect; (3) the effect of the defect on safety and sanitation; (4) the length of time the condition has persisted; and (5) the age of the structure. The predictability and reliability of services is another factor.

A condition which may endanger or materially impair the health or safety and well-being of an occupant is sufficient to violate the warranty of habitability. Factors aiding a court's determination of the materiality of a landlord's alleged breach of a residential lease include: (1) the seriousness of the claimed defects and their effect on the dwelling's habitability, (2) the length of time the defects persist, (3) whether the landlord received written or oral notice of the defects, (4) whether the residence could be made habitable within a reasonable time, and (5) whether the defects resulted from abnormal conduct or use by the tenant.

Vermin infestation will generally constitute a breach of this warranty. To assert a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, except where otherwise provided by statute, the tenant must prove that he or she gave notice to the landlord of the defect or condition, that the landlord had a reasonable opportunity to make the necessary repairs, and that he or she failed to do so.

See the following form for a sample notice:

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