What to do about a mouse infestation in a rental house? Can I get out of the lease?
Hi all, I live in a rental house with a few other girls in their 20s in the Albany, New York area. My roommate first spotted a mouse back in July. I told my landlord about it immediately and he said that he "wouldn't consider one mouse an infestation." He set up one trap by the trash can and some poison in the basement. But that's no help because I have been hearing the mice making high pitched squeaky noises every day. At first, I was in denial and thought I was being paranoid the past few weeks and ignored the possibility of mice. I also did notice a lot of tiny black droppings around the house and at first, I just thought it was dirty or spider poop. But I didn't realize mice poop can be so small. I see it at my dining table even though I have no food there, just my coffee machine, and then around the kitchen counters. I don't leave unpackaged food on the counter but I do leave cardboard boxes filled with wrapped granola bars and stuff because there's not a lot of space in the cabinets.
I texted my landlord today about getting an exterminator and he completely ignored what I said about getting an exterminator and said he's come to the house and "set up traps", but I don't think setting up traps Is really fixing the issue. He also said we leave food out, even though I don't leave unpackaged food out ever besides the granola bars and packaged raisins with cardboard and packages Mac and cheese (no signs of biting on my things) as I said.
Overall, I feel like the house isn't completely maintained. We have spiders, flies, drain flies. I already have OCD and am super clean. Now it's October and I hear the mice more since it is getting cold. I am grossed out because their poop is all over my dish rack even though there is no food there and on the tables and such. The thought of it makes me nauseous and want to vomit...
I know him setting up traps isn't going to solve anything until he seriously covers the hole or areas where these mice are coming from. From his attitude, it seems like he just wants to put a small band-aid over the issue temporarily and keep collecting money from his tenants just because he owns a house in a college town. I feel like he should get pest control involved if he actually cared about the property.
If this mice issue does not go away soon, I want to move out because this is gross.
On top of this, the house is not well maintained with issues with the flush and on & off electrical issues where my room's power would go out. I have a job so I am willing to spend a few hundred more dollars on my own apartment in the area that is well maintained and more clean and reliable...What legal steps should I take for my landlord to take this mouse infestation seriously (for instance, should I report it to the Albany Health Department for health inspection)?
If the issue persists, do I as a tenant have a legal right to vacate the apartment and live elsewhere? He also never mentioned any pest issues on the lease, so I presume it is his responsibility as a landlord to get rid of the issue in the state of New York. He keeps repeatedly saying he never had a mouse issue and blaming me and my roommates for "leaving food out." Is it that hard for him to just call an exterminator?
- TallPaulLv 44 weeks ago
Feed the mouse some cheese and you will have a wonderful pet for life.
- bluebellbkkLv 71 month ago
Mice don't squeak. Not in a way that humans can hear.
Are you sure the "tiny" droppings you're seeing near your coffee machine aren't coffee grounds? (just asking ... )
Get a couple of humane mouse traps - a transparent plastic rectangular tunnel where you put a bit of peanut butter at one end, the mouse is attracted by the smell and goes inside, which trips a trapping mechanism which keeps the mouse trapped but unharmed until you take the whole thing outside and release the mouse into the wild (not too near your house or it'll just come back).
- garryLv 51 month ago
the owners problem , he has to solve the mouse problem or else its unhabital .
- Anonymous1 month ago
It sounds like you want to get out of the place rather than resolve a mouse issue, but you had better read your rental contract to see if there is a clause that might help you do that, if not he could come after you for unpaid rent.
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- AnnLv 71 month ago
Take pictures or videos of the rat droppings and any other signs of infestation. Take a picture of a rat if you can, and of the holes where they are coming in.. Also take pictures of your kitchen to show that you don't leave food sitting out and that your apt. is clean. Check with the city and county to see about tenants' rights. Have a copy of your lease available to show them. If your roommates will back you up, all of you should go together and file a complaint. You can also take him to small claims court, as a last resort, and complain that he refuses to maintain a safe property. Ask for your deposits back.
- T-halfLv 61 month ago
Every time the field near my house gets plowed under, I get mice in my house. One time I got rats.
When I called the exterminator for the rats, all they did was place industrial sized spring traps and remove the dead rats.
So what your landlord is doing by setting the traps is good.
I have found the rodents like peanut butter and stick beef jerky (not cheese).
Placed against the walls several glue traps followed by spring traps. The rodents would hop over one or two of the traps, only to get stuck in trap #3.
Also, I I placed 8 x 11 paper on the floor, then the traps on top. Often the rodent would step in the glue trap, get free, only to glue it's foot to the paper.
It was so funny watching the rodent running away tripping on the paper. Better than having glue get on my carpet.
There are traps with poison inside them. They are expensive at $10 each. You can reuse them if you want to pry off the top and dump out the dead mouse. But there's the stink to endure.
Spring traps are more humane, for a quicker death. But usually you need the combination of spring and glue traps.
- CBLv 71 month ago
Lay out some good poison, problem solved - they don't squeak - EVER so whatever you are hearing isn't a mouse. You might hear chewing or scurrying but they don't squeak in the normal course of getting food.
Buy a bunch of different types of traps, sticky, snap etc, bait the snap traps with gummy candy or that crap that comes in rolls and smells like putrefied fruit- it sticks to the trigger like glue and nails them with regularity
Either petition to the state that the place is unsafe or quit making up stuff because you want to move.
- BarryLv 61 month ago
Help yourself and buy rodenticide. Make sure there is NO food accessible. Almost everyone gets a mouse or two in there lives. No point panicking. Just deal with it. If you moved do you imagine you will never see a mouse again?
- Anonymous1 month ago
EDITED: (See pic below)
ORIG: You're playing the blame game. You're blaming his actions and he's blaming yours.
Ok so FIRST NY STATE LAW says he is responsible. “Landlords must promptly respond to tenant complaints of pests, and must take appropriate measures to exterminate bedbugs, rodents, and other pests.” BUT here's the thing, if he's put out traps, he's doing what he is supposed to, which means you cannot consider breaking the lease over this... AND his blaming you is as natural as you blaming him!
What I suggest is go after this as an adult. You have mice. Put out more traps. (they are cheap, a couple of bucks for 4-6 traps.) Put them near corners, and along the walls, wherever you see droppings. (Note, mice are nearly blind and usually run along walls and baseboards, not under tables unless there IS food.) Bait them with a little blob of Peanut Butter (yeah, mice go crazy for peanut butter, not cheese) and check them regularly. Buy the cheap cheap traps and you can toss them out with the mouse once the mouse is caught. Then, buy more. You can stop with the traps once you have not caught any for a couple of weeks.
As for an infestation, unless you SEE them, you can't prove their existence. Your own 'paranoia' and self labeled "OCD" may make you THINK you hear 'squeaks' in the building, when in fact you hear something else. Stop trying to get someone else to take care of this. I don't care if it's a NY State Law or what, Stop blaming. Start action. Traps. Bait. Kill them and get rid of them. Once you do, you'll feel not only more safe, but also more adult.
Below you will find a neat idea, keep the mice out by using these. Obviously, if you don't like the idea of potpourri, then ignore this.
- USAFisnumber1Lv 71 month ago
You do not want him to gas the mice. They live in the walls and if you gas them they will die in the walls and the place will stink to high heavens. Why don't YOU leave out traps and when you catch some mice you can show him?