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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 36235
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Are landlords responsible for damage to furniture stored in

Customer Question

Are landlords responsible for damage to furniture stored in the garage, caused by rodents.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 6 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I would opine no, the garage is not considered a habitable area, as in where someone lives, so if rodents were able to gain entry, any damage that they did would be considered an Act of God as they are wild creatures.

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The landlord has to make sure that the habitable areas are free of insects and rodents under his implied warranty of habitability, but not any areas that are normally used for storage, but not actual living space.

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So if the tenant had furniture in the house and it was damaged, then the landlord might be liable. But out in the garage, I would opine that the tenant was undertaking the risk of some type of rodent damage.

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However, if the garage is attached to the house, I could see a judge potentially ruling that since it is an attached structure, it is part of the "habitable dwelling" and it is the landlord's duty to make sure it is free of any infestation of rodents or insects..

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Now if the tenant noticed the rodents, and told the landlord about them, then the landlord has a legal duty to take steps to try to eliminate them..

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To be honest, it is really going to boil down to the facts of the case and what the judge thinks in the even that this went to court because honestly, I can see it going either way.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years and I would tell the tenant that these were wild creatures and I wasn't responsible for them. If they later tried to sue, I would just defend and let the judge make the final decision.

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thanks

Barrister

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