Brooklyn, NY asked in Environmental and Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: NYC Warranty of Habitability & Rats in the Walls/Radiators

Since I moved into my apartment back in March, there have been rats living in my walls/ceiling (in my basement) that I hear non-stop, daily. I believe they were able to get in due to construction that is occurring on a new building next door (owned by the same owners of my building). Despite this, we have not seen rats inside the apartment itself, just outside the building and in our backyard. Now, probably due to the colder temps, we’ve found that it seems they’re nesting in the various radiators in our basement. They cry constantly and run around keeping us up at night. My bedroom is in the basement and thus causing me the greatest inconvenience. Im concerned about the health effects of their virus-carrying feces being emitted through the heat coming out of the radiator. I have contacted the landlord (in writing) 7 times about them – they have sent an exterminator out a couple times but each time they say they can't do anything. What are my options?

1 Lawyer Answer
Ali Shahrestani,
Ali Shahrestani,
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in New York

A: You may be able to sue the landlord. You may be able to breach the lease agreement and move out. It depends on the facts. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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