As a renter, the good times just keep on rolling...

User Forum Topic
Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 12:04pm

There is probably more than one mouse living in my garage and I'm pretty pissed. I first noticed a mouse was in my garage a few months back when I saw it's disgusting droppings on our boxes of stuff. Eew! Anyway, then I saw one run out while me and my son were utilizing our storage. Ok, so we set some traps and we caught one. It was small-Thank God. So, I thought ok, maybe no more problems. Then I go in my garage today and saw one.

Ok, I talked to the owner in Oct. and told him there are mice in my garage. I explained to him that we don't have a lot of junk in our garage and it is clean. We have stuff neatly packed in newer boxes. We don't eat in there, we don't live in there, we don't entertain in there. One time I left an empty Starbuck's frappachino cup in there, but that's about it. No food. We've never eaten in there.

So, how in the f*ck did a mouse/mice get in my garage??

Now, the deviant next door neighbors have had trash stacked on the side of their house, outside of their trash cans at times. Not all the time, but more than I would think is acceptable to the homeowner's association. I would guess the damn mice came from them.

Ok, so I asked the owner to get rid of them. He says no because according to him, they are field mice and they are just "around". He told me to take care of it myself.

I'm thinking maybe there's a crack/hole in the garage foundation? whose fault is it? Is the owner responsible? If so, I'm going to demand he do something about this. I rent in an upscale community, I see no reason I should have to put up with this. If he refuses to fix this, I'm so done with this place. I know some of you on here own rental property, so does the owner have to fix this??

Submitted by lendingbubbleco... on December 19, 2007 - 12:46pm.

never mind

Submitted by HLS on December 19, 2007 - 12:24pm.

Are you kidding ? it's in the GARAGE!!
What did the LL do wrong ?

Where I live, there are spiders, mice, rats, bats, coyotes, snakes, ants, hummingbirds, orioles, hawks and an occasional mountain lion in the 'hood
The species were all here before the house was built.

Only the critters with good taste (or an education) want to live in an upscale community.

I've been a landlord for about 25 years. I would tell you to get some traps. The mice were probably in the area before you moved in.

Do you realize how much your landlord is probably losing every month by renting to you ?
I'm a better landlord than most, but won't put up with "demanding" tenants.

If you want to hire an exterminator, they will set traps or spray and when the critters return they will charge you to do it again.

If you OWNED the house, do you think that a mouse wouldn't appear ? You going to complain to the lender and demand they get rid of it or you are outta there ?

OMG

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:06pm.

"OMG" huh?..

OMG my ass. Yeah, you've been a landlord for 25 years...I bet. As a landlord, you just don't want to get up off the money and do it yourself...therein lies your sympathy with my landlord.

A decent landlord would have an exterminator come out.

I am a woman. I don't like things with whiskers and pointy, long tails. Understand. Thank God my son is 6 feet (only 15 years old too); I guess I did something right. Anyway, the only way I'll go in the garage now is if he's with me.

I can't abide greedy, stingy landlords. One reason why I'm sick of renting.

If I owned property and rented it out, I would do something if one of my renters had a problem like this. It's the decent thing to do.

Submitted by akbarpunjabi on December 19, 2007 - 1:13pm.

This topic is insane! Did you not begin posting here a few weeks ago and admit that you have not been paying the rent for the past few months and also that you couldnt even afford to pay the rent you owed because you spent it all and have no savings or job or child support or alimony or whatever.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:14pm.

HLS: "If you want to hire an exterminator, they will set traps or spray and when the critters return they will charge you to do it again."

Ok...then let my landlord dig in his pocket and pay them again. If it's a two-step process to get rid of the mice so be it. I deserve to live somewhere pest-free.

HLS: "If you OWNED the house, do you think that a mouse wouldn't appear ? You going to complain to the lender and demand they get rid of it or you are outta there ?"

If I OWNED the house, I would be responsible for paying for the exterminators myself. Since I don't, I was asking if the "OWNER" is responsible to fix this problem.

And I have no idea why a mouse appeared. Like I said, I don't eat or keep an unkempt garage. The nice neighbors across the street have a messy somewhat dirty garage and they keep it open often. Her husband does furniture refinishing in there and her children play in there. I don't think there are problems with rodents in her garage. If there were, I don't think she would let her children play in there.

That's why I mentioned the posibility of my garage containing a hole in the foundation somewhere. If so, are you telling me it's my responsibility to fix that too? Wouldn't a decent owner hire someone to come out and check for that since there is a problem??

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:20pm.

akbarpunjabi: "This topic is insane! Did you not begin posting here a few weeks ago and admit that you have not been paying the rent for the past few months and also that you couldnt even afford to pay the rent you owed because you spent it all and have no savings or job or child support or alimony or whatever."

This is incorrect and besides the point. I am paying my rent. I do have a job, just not in my field yet and I do receive alimony and child support even though my ex tried to get it lowered.

I did stop paying him for a few months, but we have set up a payment arrangement. Don't act like the owner isn't responsible for that, he let his home go into foreclosure without telling me. I was harassed for months by phone calls from his mother demanding I send HER the money instead. That alone is worth me withholding rent.

But, again we have payment arrangements in place; before that I paid my rent on time for over 2 years, therefore it's a non-issue in terms of his responsibility to make sure the dwelling I am renting is pest-free.

Submitted by akbarpunjabi on December 19, 2007 - 1:19pm.

You have got to be the tenant from hell. Good luck buying a house soon as you mentioned in an earlier post. I still cant see how you plan to purchase anything with no job, no money, and probably poor credit as well.

Submitted by patientlywaiting on December 19, 2007 - 1:21pm.

For those of you dreaming of becoming landlords and getting rich, here's the wake up call.

Submitted by Navydoc on December 19, 2007 - 1:22pm.

I can't believe you're honestly asking this question. Do you want the landlord to wipe your ass for you too? Ok, that one was probably over the top, but my point is the landlord isn't responsible for any little imperfection in your home. Just like you would feel ill-used if you left a spot in the oven when you left and he kept your security deposit.

I used to rent a place in Lemon grove when I was a resident. During my four years there I trapped 38 mice in my kitchen, and would never have dreamed of calling the landlord thinking it was HIS responsibility.

Marion, it's not my habit to flame post anyone, but I get a sense from your postings that you are a particularly entitled person.

Submitted by no_such_reality on December 19, 2007 - 1:23pm.

You've left the doors open too long.

Set some traps and get rid of them.

Or call the landlord again, he'll have an exterminator come and then bill you when the exterminator says to keep the doors closed.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:23pm.

akbarpunjabi: "You have got to be the tenant from hell. Good luck buying a house soon as you mentioned in an earlier post. I still cant see how you plan to purchase anything with no job, no money, and probably poor credit as well."

You're a troll obviously. Also, you must be God too since you can predict the future and know my financial history as well.

Submitted by surveyor on December 19, 2007 - 1:25pm.

One mouse does not an infestation make...

If an infestation degrades your rental to the degree that it makes living there a hazard, then perhaps your landlord should call an exterminator and he will take care of the problem.

Otherwise, it is a maintenance problem that is borne by the tenant. Put out a few mouse traps and have your son check them.

I'm a nicer landlord than most and I would probably go and place a few traps for you, but even I would roll my eyes up at such a request.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:25pm.

Navydoc: "I used to rent a place in Lemon grove when I was a resident. During my four years there I trapped 38 mice in my kitchen, and would never have dreamed of calling the landlord thinking it was HIS responsibility.

Marion, it's not my habit to flame post anyone, but I get a sense from your postings that you are a particularly entitled person."

Ok, from now on just call me Princess.

C'mon. 38 mice?! Maybe I am entitled because I believe people shouldn't live like that.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on December 19, 2007 - 1:27pm.

we had rats in the ceiling. they had got throught he roof. I set some traps and caught 3. There was still at least one when we moved. I billed the owner for the traps (less than 10 dollars). This person isn't being that unreasonable. The owner should want to get the varmints out of the house not because he particularly cares about the renter but because of all the damage the varmints can do to the house. I dont think i was the tenant from hell for charging for the traps. I footed the bill for the bait. Bleu Cheese. Recommend it highly. Also, check out the website, www.ratkiller.com. good times...

Drink Heavily.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:32pm.

surveyor: "One mouse does not an infestation make..."

Surveyor, it's more than one mice. It's a whole family. I'm sure of that. They have left droppings all over my belongings in the garage. I have personally seen more than one.

"If an infestation degrades your rental to the degree that it makes living there a hazard, then perhaps your landlord should call an exterminator and he will take care of the problem.

Otherwise, it is a maintenance problem that is borne by the tenant. Put out a few mouse traps and have your son check them."

Ok, that's what I asked in my post. In light of the fact that I keep my place clean with no food in the garage, what could I have done to cause this surveyor? I would like to know what I did to draw the mice.

"I'm a nicer landlord than most and I would probably go and place a few traps for you, but even I would roll my eyes up at such a request."

You know what, I'm thinking this site was a bad place to ask because those of you who are landlords care first and foremost about your bottomline: How much you can PROFIT. Translation: you're GREEDY.

Submitted by taz on December 19, 2007 - 1:34pm.

A mouse in the garage - how AWFUL for you! The next thing you know, there'll be a fly in the kitchen and maybe even a skunk in the back yard! Better move to a more "upscale" neighborhood...

Oh, except that I get mice in my laundry room in Mission Hills from time to time...no food out there either, I think it's just shelter from the rain/elements. Go figure, little critters like/enjoy that, too.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:36pm.

Publicdefender, thanks. I don't think I'm being unreasonable either. With the rodents running around, I'm scared to use my garage. I'm a woman. We don't like rodents. Remember? ;)

Anyway, I have already tried the traps. I'd like to see an exterminator come out. I talked to one company and they said they use "boxes" and come out until the mice are gone.
That's what I'd like to see. If the owner cannot afford it, he cannot afford the property. We are not talking about thousands of dollars here. It all comes down to greed, doesn't it? I could see if I kept a dirty, filthy garage, but I don't. So, I don't see how I caused the problem.

Submitted by no_such_reality on December 19, 2007 - 1:38pm.

You know what, I'm thinking this site was a bad place to ask because those of you who are landlords care first and foremost about your bottomline: How much you can PROFIT. Translation: you're GREEDY

So you're saying they should provide a place for you to rent, take all the risk of owning, the hassles of you calling, the paperwork for taxes, the maintenance issues, the advertising, credit check of clients, and expect to make nothing from it.

Yes, they should do it for free. And be thankyou you stoop to call them for a mouse.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:49pm.

Taz: "A mouse in the garage - how AWFUL for you! The next thing you know, there'll be a fly in the kitchen and maybe even a skunk in the back yard! Better move to a more "upscale" neighborhood...

Oh, except that I get mice in my laundry room in Mission Hills from time to time...no food out there either, I think it's just shelter from the rain/elements. Go figure, little critters like/enjoy that, too."

Taz, dearest...Perhaps you like the little critters in your garage. You all can dance around and then you can have a tea party together and serve them cheese and crackers...Yum!

I, however, don't like mice in my garage. As I have already made an attempt to get rid of them, I think it now rests on the landlord.

Submitted by marion on December 19, 2007 - 1:46pm.

no_such: "So you're saying they should provide a place for you to rent, take all the risk of owning, the hassles of you calling, the paperwork for taxes, the maintenance issues, the advertising, credit check of clients, and expect to make nothing from it.

Yes, they should do it for free. And be thankyou you stoop to call them for a mouse."

Well, no such, that's what comes with the responsibility of being a landlord. If someone doesn't want to assume such responsibility they shouldn't be a landlord.

Submitted by surveyor on December 19, 2007 - 1:58pm.

realestate.findlaw

Here's what it says from Find Law:

"Landlords Must Fix Major Problems

Your landlord is responsible for keeping your unit in a habitable, or livable, condition. The landlord must keep the structure of the building sound, including stairways, floors, and roofs; keep electrical, heating, and plumbing systems operating safely; supply hot and cold water in reasonable amounts; and exterminate infestations of pests such as cockroaches.

Keep in mind, however, that if a problem is the result of your own carelessness -- such as a vermin infestation caused by your poor housekeeping -- the repair bill will properly be forwarded to you. If you don't pay it, the amount may be taken out of your security deposit."

So the question is, is a small family of mice in a garage considered a major problem that degrades the habitability of the rental unit. MOST LANDLORDS / PROPERTY MANAGERS WOULD SAY NO. As a minor problem, it would be your responsibility to fix it.

Now if you disagree with that, you can tell your landlord and stress to him that you have kept the place clean, you don't eat out there, but you are worried that this might grow into something bigger. Maybe it will spread to the kitchen or something (where it would be definitely the landlord's problem). You can also mention to him that you have placed traps out there and that the mice still seem to be there. Still, considering what problems you've been having with the landlord and the paying the rent to the mother and whatnot, I can't imagine that he'd be that enthused to go there and fix the problem right away. Still, if you phrase the argument this way (and maybe send it to them in writing), you will at least have recourse.

Let me tell you something about landlords - they work very hard and actually do not make a lot of money. They have no problem making MAJOR repairs that cost a lot. It's the hassle that they don't like. If it's a minor problem that can be easily taken care of, they don't like being called in to do it. It ranks really low on their priority list. But if they see you trying and doing something about it, then they'll respect you for it and treat you well (at least the good landlords will).

As for being greedy landlords, for every greedy landlord out there, I can name at least 10 who have been screwed over by their tenants. =shrug= But landlords don't get to complain because they own property.

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on December 19, 2007 - 2:00pm.

Ok, that's what I asked in my post. In light of the fact that I keep my place clean with no food in the garage, what could I have done to cause this surveyor? I would like to know what I did to draw the mice

The mistake you made was to have a warm place away from the elements. Mice typically move indoors during the winter. It's not a food thing.

Submitted by blue_sky on December 19, 2007 - 2:09pm.

From http://fairhousingoc.org/landlord.html


Q. Is a landlord obligated to make repairs in a rental unit?


A. The California Civil Code, section 1941, makes a landlord responsible for maintaining a rental unit in livable condition, unless the tenant caused the damage.


Q. What is a livable (tenantable) condition?


A. A rental unity is NOT livable if it substantially lacks any of the following:
- Roof, walls and windows that do not leak
- Working plumbing or gas facilities
- Water supply of hot and cold running water connected to a sewage disposal system
- Heating system that works
- Electrical lighting and wiring in working order
- Building and grounds kept clean, sanitary, and free from garbage, rodents, and vermin
- Adequate number of garbage cans or dumpsters in good repair
- Floors, stairways and railing in good repair

While I'm not sure your mice are enough to get over the hurdle of 'substantially lacking', you could drop 'Section 1941 violation' in your next conversation and see what happens.

Submitted by drunkle on December 19, 2007 - 2:46pm.

you should try to take care of it yourself first. simply because the landlord may decide to raise your rent in exchange for fixing the problem.

Submitted by pbnative on December 19, 2007 - 3:13pm.

Seems obvious... call an exterminator! Usually the evaluation is free. They'll tell you what you can do to prevent/fix the problem, and you can take that info to your landlord if you think there is something specific he is responsible for.

Or, get a homicidal cat.

Submitted by Bugs on December 19, 2007 - 4:06pm.

There's no such thing as a property that is immune from the occasional pest. Urban - suburban - rural, we live in and share our environment with critters, bugs and thingies of all types. They can wiggle through the smallest of openings, too. There's no such thing as a house that is secure from the local critters.

If a wasp flew into your home you wouldn't haul the landlord out to get it, would you? I hope not.

Buy some traps, set them out in likely hidey places - like where you're seeing the droppings, and double down on your efforts to deny them a food source. This will all be over in the next week, two at the most.

Your other alternative is to be nicer to the men in your life - maybe you can get one of them to do it for you in exchange for......cookies. Yeah, cookies. Men will do most anything for a woman who puts out cookies.

BTW, it's not too early for your 15-year old to learn how to be the man of his house. He'd probably work for cookies, too.

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on December 19, 2007 - 4:17pm.

BTW, it's not too early for your 15-year old to learn how to be the man of his house. He'd probably work for cookies, too.

Wait, there's a 15-year old in the house. That explains it. Everyone knows that mice are attracted to pot. The kid probably has a stash somewhere in the garage.

Submitted by sdrealtor on December 19, 2007 - 4:41pm.

I was wondering why the mice keep knocking on my door looking for cookies and slurpees.

Submitted by eagleeye on December 19, 2007 - 4:47pm.

Submitted by Navydoc on December 19, 2007 - 1:22pm.
I can't believe you're honestly asking this question. Do you want the landlord to wipe your ass for you too? Ok, that one was probably over the top, but my point is the landlord isn't responsible for any little imperfection in your home. Just like you would feel ill-used if you left a spot in the oven when you left and he kept your security deposit.

Navydoc your remarks were rude and unacceptable for someone posting as a Navy physician. I certainly hope you treat your patients with more respect. I'm curious, what is your specialty? I think the renter is expecting too much in this case too but what do your degrading comments do to help the situation?

Submitted by Navydoc on December 19, 2007 - 5:23pm.

You're right, it was rude and I try not to do that, but for some reason this post caught me as way too unrealistic. I have identified my specialty before, I'm an obstetrician, and I typically have a great deal of patience with women in pain.

As far as unacceptable, it is a (fairly) anonymous blog, unacceptable comments DO occaisionally occur in the spirit of the moment. I'll behave.

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