Can tenant get moving costs if landlord is neglectful in Rhode Island?

2 months ago I reported a mice infestation and the lanlord laid some traps and poison. 2 weeks ago I saw their droppings all over my kitchen and bed!! I told him and he said since his traps had caught nothing, he would bring more poison and more traps. I want him to call a professional exterminator and a professional who will seal all the holes but all he wants to do is lay cheap traps and poison which has NOT worked. I am fed up and want to move but it will cost me . Can I recover the moving costs from him? Here is the RI tenant handbook excerpt. What does “injunctive relief” for the tenant mean?

§ 34-18-28 Noncompliance by the landlord in general. – (a) Except as provided by this chapter, if there is a noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with § 34-18-22 materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than thirty (30) days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in twenty (20) days, and the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice subject to the following:
(1) If the breach is remediable by repairs, the payment of damages or otherwise and the landlord adequately remedies the breach before the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate by reason of the breach.
(2) If substantially the same act or omission which constituted a prior noncompliance of which notice was given recurs within six (6) months, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement upon at least fourteen (14) days’ written notice specifying the breach and the date of termination of the rental agreement.
(3) The tenant may not terminate for a condition caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, a member of his or her family, or other person on the premises with his or her consent.
(b) Except as provided in this chapter, the tenant may recover actual damages and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or § 34-18-22. If the landlord’s noncompliance is willful, the tenant may recover reasonable attorney’s fees.
(c) The remedy provided in subsection (b) of this section is in addition to any right of the tenant arising under subsection (a).
(d) If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security recoverable by the tenant under § 34-18-19 and all prepaid rent.
History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 200, § 2.)
You guys DON’T UNDERSTAND how horrendous it is to find mice poop EVERYWHERE. I find it daily in my food, my shoes, my dishes, inside my beddings, my clothes, my seats. It is DISGUSTING. I have lived like this for TWO MONTHS. How long am I supposed to take these conditions? Surely there has to be some way I can get relief. The landlords’ measures ARE NOT WORKING!!

Posted in Landlord Tenant Law.

3 Comments

  1. No, you have NO basis for lease termination without penalty. Your landlord is supplying devices to eradicate the rodents. You apparently expect that these rodents must disappear entirely and quickly. That is not the way it works with mice. During colder weather, they seek ‘harbor’, and that means a warmer place than outside. If your landlord ‘seals all holes’, they will simply chew NEW holes. The proper control of mice is to trap them when they appear, and continue to do so until they no longer appear.

    You need to understand that an exterminator will do exactly the same as your landlord is providing. NO exterminator is going to attempt to ‘seal all holes’, since the tiny holes used by mice to enter are mostly not visible.

    And NO, you will not be reimbursed for any moving expenses, should you decide to leave. Rather, you may face penalties for early lease termination.

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