Tacoma, WA asked in Contracts for Washington

Q: Can I sue for rat and carpenter ant infestation of a trailer I paid to store on someone's property?

I stored my trailer at a place after responding to a craigslist post offering his property for storage. After 3 years, he randomly text me and asked me to move it by the end of the week. I ended up having my sister tow it for me because I was out of town. When I got home and looked at it, you could see carpenter ants all over the front of my trailer. Even after spraying and leaving out ant bait, they still made their way into my home. Luckily I think I've got them all. Also, when I went inside my trailer, the first sign of rat infestation was that a bunch of my papers, pictures, etc. were chewed up in pieces all over the place. Next was the smell. There was rat poop and urine all over the couch, and my clothes. It was really gross. So much so that I haven't gone in to survey all the damage. I paid $100 a month for about 3 1/2 years. The last text he sent me stated my trailer was just as I had left it. It was not. We never formally entered into any kind of agreement, so no paperwork.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Answered
  • San Jose, CA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: These sound like natural hazards caused by your own neglect of your property and possibly any openings/ leaks in your trailer rather than any fault of the property owner, unless he specifically agreed to maintain the cleanliness of the inside of your trailer. His text re: the condition of your trailer does not sound like any sort of contractual agreement that he was caring for the condition of the inside of the trailer, nor any sort of guarantee about its condition and status. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AliEsq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, WA, 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.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered

A: You mention the absence of a formal agreement. From the facts provided, there doesn't seem to be any kind of agreed upon arrangement as to who would have been responsible for taking measures to protect the trailer during storage.

Tim Akpinar

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