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Tenant/landlord rodent responsibility??

Houston, TX |

When i signed my lease i signed that i would take care of rodents, because i thought there was none in the house since the landlord said there wasnt. Well we have been fighting for over a year with the rats to get them gone, im deadly scared of them so i NEVER went into the attic. My husband informs me the insulation is black/nonexistent and COVERED in rat poop. I have read the tenant/landlord handbook but could only find 2009 edition. Is it true i can get them to pay to get that crap cleaned up?? Maybe put in new insulation?? Or is all this going to fall on me??

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Attorney answers 2


This sounds like a dangerous environment to live in. You may be able to move out without being penalized if you follow the terms of the law and the terms of your lease.

First carefully read your lease. Then read the entire Texas statute governing residential tenancies: Then re-read your lease. If you comply with the applicable provisions for giving proper notice to your landlord about a dangerous condition rendering the leased premises uninhabitable, and the landlord then fails to remedy the situation, you may be entitled to move out before the lease term ends.

If you can afford a lawyer, I suggest that you hire a lawyer to help you. Find a way out of that place!

John Zgourides

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.


You've been there for over a year. It is going to be difficult to prove liability for the rat problem. You can take care of cleaning, and ask for reimbursement for your expenses. If landlord fails to reimburse, you can sue in small claims court, but keep in mind that you may not win because you waited so long. The filing fee is small, so it wouldn't hurt to try! Take lots of pictures - you'll need evidence and witnesses.

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