I've had a rat problem for two weeks. I sent the LL an e-mail about it in which I mentioned both the 20" x 25" opening beneath my sink, through which I can see my tub, my water heater and the dirt beneath the house and the rat problem. My house is moderately clean: not a neat freak but not, in my opinion, rat-worthy.... I think it's the clear access through the hole that is the problem.
Is the landlord responsible for ridding my place of the rat(s)? In reviewing the available tenant-landlord literature for Oregon I found conflicting info. Some say that when I first move in the LL is responsible, whereas afterward I am. Others say the LL is responsible at move-in and throughout my tenancy. Others say the LL takes care of it, but bills me.
Please, what are my CLEARLY DEFINED RIGHTS here?
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Your rights aren't clearly defined. As you state, you have a right to move into a rat-free environment. After that, whether preventing and eliminating rat problems depends on culpability which depends on facts which are rarely clearly defined. On balance, I'd expect that a tenant is responsible for a rodent problem unless caused by the negligence of the landlord. Facts here seem conflicting in that regard. So you can hire an attorney to fight about liability or you and your landlord could cooperate in figuring out how to best split the repairs and the costs since it's likely neither of you are interested in rats or litigation.
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