T Nation

Anyone A Lawyer?


Basically the mice at my apartment complex have caused me total damages of $1,080 and I am looking to get some of that money back. Here is a letter I wrote my apartment complex explaining everything:

"Good Morning,
I currently live in building 17 apt 102, and I have had some issues with rodents at my building. Several times I have notice either a mouse of a chipmunk run by the front of my building and by my patio. Last week I had to take my car in for service and they told me that a rodent had chewed through several wires causing a good bit of damage. I went ahead and ate those costs of $500. Now today I had to bring my car in again for service and sure enough a rodent had chewed through the wires, this time costing me $580. The first $500 I don't care about, I write that off as my loss, however I am hoping we can work out an agreement with the second charge of $580. My ideal situation would be that the $580 is deducted from my monthly rent of $1,045 as the rodent problem at my building caused the damages. I have all the paper work from the dealerships showing that it was indeed a rodent that caused the problem. In addition both of these damages caused my car not to start correctly on Sunday mornings, ruling out that it could have happened at my work. Please feel free to either email me back at this address, or you can call me at one of two numbers:
Cell: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Apartment: xxx-xxx-xxxx
I am hoping we can come to some sort of agreement and I look forward to hearing back from you."

Anyone know if I have a chance at this working out or is it stuff shit for me?

Btw I am in no way looking to sue anyone, just wondering if I have legal grounds for what I'm asking. Thanks in advance!


Did you ever inform the complex of the rodent problem? Did you inform them after the first damage to your car?


Sue Mickey Mouse. He has deep pockets.


I had a hamster that ate up the carpet in the apartment I was in last year. "No Rodents Allowed" indeed. A few weeks after I left they billed us $850 for needing to replace the carpet. I blamed it on mice. They didn't bite. My credit score takes another hit.


Can you prove it was a rodent outside at your apartment that did it and not a rodent at work, the gym, the supermarket, or somewhere else?

Also, if it was outside, why would they be responsible for a squirrel or mouse eating stuff on your car?


I did indeed inform them of the problem after the first damage.

As for whether it was from the apartment complex, it happened over night while my car was parked at the apartment complex and I have a record of calling my car manufactorier right when I got the warning light.

As to why i think they are responsible even though it was outside is that it happened in the car port at the apartment complex which is a "common place" to the complex. Building code laws state that apartment complexes must keep rodents free from all common places.

Also, I can not do anything to protect my car in that area. If I put down poison in the area and someone's pet eats it I get sued, if I put traps out and someone's kid steps on them same thing happens. Thus since I can't do anything to take care of the problem it would be the owners that need to take action.


If you had mice in your home, you could sue, as a landlord owes you a warranty of habitability:

So if you had mice in your apartment, you'd be OK. (The guy who said mice ate his carpet but was billed for it was likely leaving a lot out.)

Does this warranty extend to the parking structure? I don't know. But if I were you, I'd find out, since $1,100 is on the line.

I would not concede that they don't owe you the first 500. This is just bag negotiating. Tell them they owe you the $1,080, attach a receipt and go from there. Starting high will make it easier to end up at $500 than starting at $500 would.

Go here:

Tell them you need a referral for a landlord tenant lawyer. Then get in touch with the lawyer. Tell him you'll pay him $100 for a half-hour consultation. (He might even answer your question for free if he knows the answer off the top of his head. Despite public perception, lawyers give free legal advice all the time.)

By the way, check out your lease and see what it says about parking. See if it says, "You park at your own risk." Etc. Any lawyer you contact will need to know this.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.


Sorry i forgot to mention that when I went out to my car this morning I saw a mouse run out from under my car when I hit the unlock button. I can't really prove what I saw though, but if it came down to it I could set up a camera and record under my car at night. I would hope it wouldn't come to that though.


You might catch someone fooling around in the parking lot and get some free smut.

Oh, you said UNDER your car, not in your car. Correction: You might catch some midgets or gnomes fooling around and have some good stories and laughs.


C-Law thanks for the information!! If the complex owners don't get back to me shortly, I'll be sure to give that number a call. Thanks again for your help!


While you're at it, you might try going after the repair shop that fucked you for over a grand to replace a few wiring harnesses.

I honestly can't for the life if me understand how it could cost that much.


If your apartment complex is overrun with rodents, i.e. rats, it's also a health issue. Call your county health department to register a complaint. Having an official agency concur on record and possibly cite the manager/owners will allow you to conceivably have recourse if no action is taken to remedy the situation.


Er.... I think you are SOL. But, like someone said, lawyers do give out free advice. Try asking one.


Yea pretty much Benz sucks my ass. $80 bucks for parts (wire and new sensor) $500 for 5 hours labor. I haven't paid the second bill yet as I haven't gotten my car back, but I may see if I can get them to charge by actual hours not by the book. It shouldnt have taken more than an hour or two.

I would have done it myself but I needed a lift to get under the car b/c that's where the sensor is.:confused:


Hey thanks for the advice! I'll def use that as leverage if need be!


To update the manager of the company who owns the property refuses to pay for any of the damages so I have hired the help of a lawyer.

I also complained to the company who reffered me to this apartment complex as well as rent.com I will also be filing a complaint with the health department.

Lol I don't dick around when someone screws me.

Also there was no park at your own risk in my lease and in my lease they call the parking lot a common area.


Here is what is interesting. If the complex had just been reasonable by splitting the bill with you, a lawyer would never have gotten involved. Yet so many cases end up like this.

People always blame lawyers.

But lawyers are only usually involved when big companies refuse to meet the reasonable demands of consumers. Granted, there are exceptions. But the vast majority of lawsuits involve stories like yours.

All the company had to do was be reasonable. But they wanted to bully you. Lawyers tend to equalize things.

Good luck.


Ahh...you didn't tell me it was a Benz. This summer I spent an entire afternoon replacing the 4 oxygen sensors in my Dad's CLK430. I don't think they intended for people with wrist and elbow joints to change those things. German engineering my ass.


Haha so true! I would have to be gumby to get to the wire connection!


I certainly agree! I even offered to pay the first bill by myself because I liked staying there and I knew I would have a better shot at getting 1/2 my money than the full thing. I just can't believe he wouldn't even send out pest control to take care of the problem! I know money is tight these days but really, that just sucks.