The sight of a mouse or rat running across your floor is not pleasant, but if you can’t get rid of them, your landlord can’t, what can you do? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to explain it.

Kadicia was looking for a one bedroom rental and then she walked into a studio apartment.

Kadicia Morrison: “So I said, you know what? Let me try out a studio because it’s small, and it’s just me, and I actually really like it.”

It’s so small she can see everything in her place … everything.

Kadicia Morrison: “Uhhhh, it’s very out there and scary.”

Scary because when she moved in mice were there to greet her.

Kadicia Morrison: “Look at that, all those droppings, it’s disgusting. I say, you know what? I was going under the sink to get something, and I happened to see a tail, and I got really scared.”

Kadicia first made sure there was nothing in her apartment to attract rodents.

Kadicia Morrison: “I’m really clean. You know, I keep my place clean. I don’t leave dishes in the sink or anything, and they still come.”

She then put out glue traps. They worked again and again.

Two mice in that trap, but the next night, more squeezing through holes under the sink. Maintenance sealed them, it didn’t work.

Kadicia Morrison: “Well, how could they come through the hole if he closed it?, and that’s when I noticed that they have opened back the hole.”

The mice are small, but Kadicia’s fear of them is large.

Kadicia Morrison: “Like to know if I’m laying down, and they just crawl on me, I would, I would literally like, pass out. I am terrified of them.”

The property manager sent in pest control.

Kadicia hired a company to spray foam to block the holes the mice were creating, and she says she hasn’t seen any mice for a few days, but since she lives next to the garbage chute, she has concluded the mice can’t be kept out.

Kadicia Morrison: “I don’t know what to do. It’s a non-stop thing, they’re gonna keep coming.”

Well, does your landlord have to provide a rodent-free place to live, Howard?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Yes, they do. Unless your lease stipulates that you are responsible, the landlord has to provide regularly scheduled pest control. If they don’t or if it doesn’t work, notify the landlord in writing in case you want to break the lease or demand a reduction in the rent.”

I spoke to the building’s rental office. They told me they did regular pest control. They also did inspections.

When I asked about rodents coming up through the garbage chute, I was told the maintenance crew took care of rodents them, but of course, if a fellow resident is dirty and the cause of the problem, what do you do?

Howard Finkelstein: “Notify the resident and the landlord in writing, because the landlord can evict a tenant who does not maintain the apartment. In other words, creates a rat or mouse problem.”

Even though the mice have been blocked for awhile, Kadicia knows they will return to her apartment, but the solution for renters is not great.

Kadicia Morrison: “Well, I could move, but it’s not really feasible at this moment. The rent in Miami is super expensive, so it’s kind of like, I’m stuck.”

Renters are in a tough spot right now and have to decide whether to put up with problems or fight back.

Howard mentioned breaking a lease or getting a reduction in your rent if you have rats and mice. To do that, it has to be a serious situation, not just a mouse or rat once in awhile.

A problem left you feeling trapped? Don’t say, “Oh rats,” and give up. Contact us. We will be glued to our seats waiting for you.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

7 DAY LETTER TO TERMINATE LEASE:
www-media.floridabar.org

NOTICE TO LANDLORD TO WITHHOLD RENT:
www-media.floridabar.org

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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