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Customer Question
Dear Pearl, I need...

Dear Pearl, I need your help to figure out how to deal with a dispute with my tenant regarding rodent infestation issue in my rental house

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Virginia

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

21. Tenant Maintenance Obligations
I. The control and elimination of household pests including but not limited to flees, ticks, roaches, silverfish, ants, crickets, and rodents (Excluding squirrels) during occupancy. Upon vacating the Premises, the Tenant shall be responsible for the elimination of all such pests and vermin.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

And The premises are warranted from pest infestation and Tenant is required to report any signs of rodents or vermin within thirty (30) days of occupancy. After the time, tenant is required to control any infestation and related costs are the Tenants expense.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/16/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 13,333
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today.

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only. What specific questions did you have? I have an idea about your situation, but I don’t want to make any assumptions.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My tenant did not report the rodent issue until 10 months. Is the tenant’s responsible to remove the rodent infestation
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I understand your concern. This appears to be a classic breach of contract for failure to perform within a reasonable time. A breach of contract just simply means that one party was obligated to perform and they have either have not performed or have said that they will not perform. Typically, the aggrieved party is entitled to be returned to the same position they were in before the breach, including the cost of having the vermin removed, assuming you had to pay to do that.. There’s a site that I’ve used in the past where you can find a good template for advising of a breach of contract. It's a bit easier (and cheaper) than going through litigation and I have seen it be effective in the past. If this doesn’t work, sadly, the only other option is to either go through an informal mediation or file a lawsuit in your local court.

This website is also pretty cool because they have some state-specific breach of contract forms that you can use as well. Click here to choose your state and get started.

What other questions did you have for me?

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