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What are the renters rights in regards to bats inhibiting an…

What are the renters...

What are the renters rights in regards ***** ***** inhibiting an apartment, and have been for at least a year? The rental management company stated that they have never heard of a problem, and the exterminator told the renters they have been to the property several times. They also advised the apartment isn't safe. What are our rights?

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

Wisconsin

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

No, just phone calls back and forth. The first instance we have had a problem (My daughter is the renter) was about six weeks ago, and the rental agent stated they would fix the problem, as they have never had one there before. We now know this to be untrue, and we are wondering what types of paperwork we should file, or what are our rights? She doesn't feel comfortable living there now with this issue.

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

I believe this is the jist of our issue. Thank you.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/5/2017
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8,682
Experience: 30 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you.

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The law requires that the rental property be in a habitable safe condition. Has your daughter contacted the Health Department and filed a complaint? What type of infestation are is occurring?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you. As stated above, my daughter is under a lease agreement with a university-based rental company in Eau Claire, WI. They signed the lease starting June 1st and just moved in this week. There was one legal subleaser at the the apartment this summer, who had two incidents with bats. Both times, the rental company was called and they claimed to send someone to fix the problem, and they said this is the first they have heard about it. We now know this to be false.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The bat removal company was there today and told the renters that they have been at this property several times and their opinion it wasn't safe to live in. We are wondering our rights. We have not contacted any agencies yet, as we are trying to figure out what the best course of action yet. Their safety is my biggest concern, and also they have a place to live.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The company Orkin, found a pile of bat feces in the attic that has been there for about a year (in their estimation). Other tenants have stated that they have had an ongoing bat issue for more than a year as well. I'm not sure what course of action they have taken.

The landlord has a duty under the State law to keep the rental property habitable. This is implied, if not stated in every lease by law. Your daughter has every option available to her and the landlord is forbidden by law to retaliate for her reporting the condition. Bats carry rabbis and this is a very dangerous situation. Let me provide the law for you.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
The landlord agent tried to tell me that rodents and insects are their responsibility, when in reading the lease, it states that it is only their responsibility if the rodents are due to garbage, or other fault of the renters. There has been no one at the apartment except one subleaser, who was extremely neat and barely there, which makes the fact she had found TWO bats in her apartment shocking.
Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I would appreciate you directing me to the law that is available to us for this situation.

Sadly for the landlord the law requires the right to a habitable rental environment. The landlords can try to push this off on the tenant but that will not stand. These are the landlords duties. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/top-10-landlord-legal-responsibilities-wisconsin.html

Since they are saying they are not receiving messages I would have her send them a certified letter return receipt requested advising them of the situation. Letting them know this is a breach of contract and that she will be terminating the lease as the premises is toxic.

I can also provide a link for local Attorneys that provide FREE consultations.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you. The company is answering our phone calls, but what they tell us isn't the truth. We are mainly concerned for their safety first, and then our rights in possibly getting out of this lease without any kind of penalty. Lastly, with move-in already taking place this week and school starting tomorrow, the likely hood of them finding a comparable housing situation is going to be tough. Is it their responsibility to rehouse tenants when their currently leased property isn't habitable?

I will set out what there duties are with regard to this matter.

:"ATCP 134.08 Prohibited rental agreement provisions Under the rules, rental agreements that contain the following provisions are void: (1) Allows a landlord to do any of the following because a tenant has contacted an entity for law enforcement services, health services, or safety services: Increase rent, decrease services, bring an action for possession of the premises, refuse to renew a rental agreement, or threaten to take any action to do so. (ATCP 134.08(1))" https://datcp.wi.gov/Documents/LT-LandlordTenantGuide497.pdf

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"Under the implied warranty of habitability, landlords must do the following:

  • Keep the building’s foundation and structure intact and safe. Floors, walls, roofs, and stairs should be stable and secure.
  • Ensure that all common areas are clean and safe to walk through, like hallways and stairwells.
  • Make sure all internal systems are in safe and working condition. This includes electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, ventilation, and sanitation. If the property has elevators, they should be safe and up-to-date on inspections.
  • Keep both hot and cold water running.
  • Provide trash receptacles and pickup when appropriate.
  • Remove environmental toxins, like lead paint dust, asbestos, black mold, and others. This is especially critical for homes with young children, or for residents who have other health conditions.
  • Exterminate pest infestations, get rid of rodents and other problematic critters.
  • Provide that the rental property is reasonably secure from criminal intrusion, with functional locks and any other appropriate safety measures." http://www.greenresidential.com/2472-2/
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She can certainly ask to have the lease terminated and be reimbursed for any damages that occurred as a result. Let me provide a link for Attorneys in the area that provide FREE consultations so they can assist with all of the options available to your daughter. One moment please.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

If you would be kind enough to rate my service positively so I will receive credit for my work from the site I would appreciate it. A positive rating will not impact your ability to obtain a refund.

You may not be familiar with how the site works. The Attorneys to not receive credit from the site for their time or with customers unless the customer provides a positive rating. We answer your questions in good faith, hoping for a good faith response regardless of whether the law is in your favor or not. If you were unhappy with my service please let me know that you would prefer to work with another Attorney and I will opt out.

Thank you for your consideration.

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You are most welcome.

I am adding this link for informational purposes http://www.tenantresourcecenter.org/rights_in_wisconsin

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I would be happy to give you a good rating. You gave me good information to begin this process. I didn't know where to start, and now we have a starting point. Is there a link where I can rate your service?

There should be a rating scale at the top of the page on your end. 5 stars.

Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8,682
Experience: 30 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
Verified
Attyadvisor and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you. I will do this now. I think you've answered my beginning questions. I wouldn't hesitate to use this site again in the future. Thanks again!

Thank you.

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