When You Rent in New York Who Has to Fix the Rodent Problem?
You have found yourself a great place to rent (finally because it took forever!) and now you are noticing evidence of mice or rats or some other kind of rodent. What do you do? Move? Or try to keep a cool head about it and figure out who to call to get rid of this bothersome infestation?
I had this happen to me in an apartment that I rented a few years ago in Ulster County. There was a point when I lived there where I caught 8 mice in one day, found one floating in the toilet after I had been away for the weekend, and then was awoken one night when I swear one walked across me while I was sleeping.
At that point, I had already been paying for an exterminator but was wondering if there was anything I could do to stay in the apartment (it was on a farm) and get rid of the uninvited house guests before I started looking for a new apartment.
Here is what I found out:
Who is responsible for pest control when you are renting in New York State?
This is one of those questions which has a yes and a no answer. Of course, the landlord had a very interesting note on the lease agreement when I signed it, I noticed that there was a disclosure on it, saying that I (as the tenant) was responsible for any exterminators, but was that legal in New York State?
Who pays for the exterminator in New York State?
I spoke to someone at the county health department and they told me that since I had such an excessive amount of mice, I wasn't doing things like leaving food out etcetera. I did have a case if I wanted to pursue it because it was at the point where the landlord needed to do something to keep the mice from being able to access the apartment. Was it just me in the house (2-units in the converted home) having an issue?
No, the tenant downstairs also had an issue, but apparently, mice like to be upstairs and in dark basements more than they like being on the first-floor apartment, plus that neighbor didn't mind emptying their mouse traps, where I had a significant issue with it.