Real Estate Law
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I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
The law unfortunately does not allow a landlord to require a tenant to move rather than fixing problems with the property. The statute says that a landlord must keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition. Ky. Stat., Section 383.595. So, even though it would make more sense for the tenant to just leave instead of complaining about the problem, there's nothing in the law that says they have to do that. You're required to remediate the health risks, or the tenant can sue for a partial rent refund, unless the tenant did something to cause the bats. On top of that, if the tenant can convince a judge that you intentionally chose not to remove the bats in order to get her to leave without going through the eviction courts, you could be ordered to pay her up to three months rent - which means you could be out much more than the cost of having the bats removed. See Ky. Stat., Section 383.655. In this scenario, extermination could be considered an essential service.
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