Q: What actions do we as tenants take if landlord/management hasn’t handled rodent infestation for over a month and a half?
You can contact the Los Angeles County Health Department and report the infestation. They will most likely come out and do an investigation or evaluation and take remedial steps to stop the infestation, because it is a health issue. Then you can inform the landlord of what she should have done.
You can also contact a tenant's rights organization and see what advice they have to offer. See if you can withhold rent for the time that the matter went unresolved by the landlord. Best check with a good tenant's rights lawyer before you take that step, however, to make sure you are on solid legal grounds, because I am not an expert in tenant's rights matters.
A: This kind of living situation is legally considered an "uninhabitable premises." As tenants you have rights to be provided a habitable living space. You can utilize the "repair and deduct" for up to one month's rent at a time (up to 2 times a year) to hire your own exterminators, after providing the LL reasonable notice. You can also sue him for rent abatement. The rent he is charging you is based on providing you a habitable premises, if it is infested and he does nothing, you are overpaying. If you do these things you are protected from RETALIATORY EVICTION by a "safe harbor" of 180 days. But if you do all this, you can expect the slumlord will evict you as soon as he can do so legally. If you lived there more than a year, you are entitled to a move out allowance of 1 month's rent.
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