Can I Break My Lease Due To A Mice Infestation

Editorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm and is not licensed to practice law. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help.

Can I Break My Lease Due To A Mice Infestation?

Yes. You can or other health hazard if your landlord ignores the problem and doesn't provide a safe and habitable home. While breaking a lease due to pest damage is just one of many valid reasons to back out of your lease agreement, you can't just pack up and move out: There are several steps you should take to ensure you don't lose your deposit, damage your credit, or open yourself up to other avoidable costs.

Let's take a look at how you can break your lease without penalty, both going through the traditional "do-it-yourself" steps and then the easy way, using DoNotPay's tenant protection services.

Be Informed About Your Rights as a Tenant

Before you decide to , you should know where you stand in the eyes of the law. When you're well-informed about local laws and the terms of your agreement, you'll be able to make a better case for yourself. If you don't, you open yourself up to all sorts of problems associated with illegitimately breaking your lease.

Read and Understand Your Lease Agreement

It's time to dust off the paperwork you signed before you first moved in. A good rental agreement will clearly state your landlord's obligations to make repairs to your rental home, and mice infestation does cause significant damage. Rodents can:

  • Chew through wiring, insulation, and structural components
  • Bring disease into your home
  • Leave droppings and urine behind that can create hard-to-remove odors from your belongings and the unit itself.
  • Attract other pests

Know Your State’s Tenants’ Rights Laws

Every state has specific laws for landlord/tenant responsibilities, and each might require different pathways to legally breaking a lease due to mice infestation. You'll also want to look up your local tenants' advocacy groups if you need help finding affordable legal representation or other resources that can help you navigate complicated codes, loopholes, and lease-breaking steps.

TexasCaliforniaNew York
IllinoisNorth CarolinaOhio
GeorgiaVirginiaWashington State
ColoradoNew JerseyPennsylvania
South CarolinaMinnesota Alabama
Washington DCKansasKentucky
LouisianaNew MexicoArkansas
HawaiiUtahWest Virginia
New HampshireNebraskaMaine
IdahoSouth DakotaNorth Dakota
VermontRhode IslandMississippi

How to Break A Lease Because of a Mice Infestation: The DIY Way

Once you're fully aware of your rights and obligations, it's time for you to take the steps necessary to prove you have a legitimate reason to break your lease and create a follow-through plan.

Document the Problem

From the first day you notice signs of mice until you've received your deposit funds, you should be keeping notes. These will include:

  • Your attempts at notifying your landlord
  • Your landlord's response
  • Any out-of-pocket costs you've accumulated since the infestation began
  • Photographs of damage and infestation evidence
  • Any quotes you've requested for cleaning your personal belongings or the rental space
  • Medical issues resulting from the infestation
  • Respiratory issues
  • Skin allergies
  • Flea bites
  • Your notice of intent to vacate the premises
  • Your intended move-out date
  • The condition of the unit when you moved out
  • Include photos; it also helps to have photos from your move-in date.

Request That Your Landlord Fix the Problem

As soon as you notice the infestation, alert your landlord in writing with a demand letter. Your letter should include:

  1. A request to remediate the issue
  2. A deadline by which you expect the problem to be resolved
  3. Consequences for your landlord's failure to uphold their duties
  1. Your intention to move out
  2. Your intention to , including days the unit was uninhabitable

Use firm, professional language when you write your demand letter, but don't be threatening. The facts should carry enough weight to drive home your point. You might even include your notice in this demand letter, revocable under the condition that the mice are exterminated, and the unit is professionally cleaned at the landlord's expense.

Send Your Demand Letter via USPS Certified Mail

Give notice that you will be breaking the lease. If, after you've sent a demand letter, your landlord doesn't comply with the terms of the lease, it's time for you to inform your landlord of your intended move-out date if you haven't done so already. Whenever possible, give at least 30 days' advance notice. Always give notice in writing, and as with your demand letter, send it by certified mail.

Hold Your Landlord Accountable

If your landlord refuses to return your deposit or even negatively reports you to credit bureaus, you can sue them in small claims court. All the legwork you've done up until this point will give you a legitimate claim to the money they owe you, and also protect you from penalties. You can also if you have incurred out-of-pocket costs for mice infestation control and cleanup, and your landlord hasn't reimbursed you.

Let DoNotPay Help You Legally Break Your Lease

Wouldn't you rather have an attorney handle all these letters for you but without the excessive fees? Here's an alternative: Let DoNotPay be your "robot lawyer," advocating on your behalf.

Here’s How You Can Get Started in 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Search Break My Lease on DoNotPay.

  2. Prepare a signed copy of your lease that you can use as a reference and enter the state the lease was signed in.

  3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options.

  • If you're a uniformed service member breaking a lease to fulfill your service obligations, we'll send your landlord an SCRA Protection Letter.
  • If you're breaking your lease for a reason protected by your state's tenant laws, we'll write your landlord a letter detailing your protections for breaking the lease under the relevant law.
  • If your reasons for breaking your lease aren't protected by federal or state law but you'd like to try to convince your landlord to let you break the lease through mutual agreement, we'll draft a hardship letter making your case to your landlord.
  • If there are no remaining options for breaking the lease with protection but your state requires landlords to mitigate damages to tenants who break their leases, we'll notify your landlord of that obligation and minimize the remaining rent you have to pay.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay doesn’t just help you with early termination of a lease, but can also assist with the following:

Why Wait? Have DoNotPay Get You Out Of Your Lease Today!

Even due to a mice infestation, breaking a lease is tricky business, and you want to make sure you do it right. You can trust DoNotPay to handle this problem for you because we're:

  • Fast—The sooner you communicate your intent to your landlord, the less likely you'll lose money
  • Easy—We can do in three steps what might take you an entire day
  • Successful—We'll make the best case for you, and our letters carry weight.

Let's get started now, so you can move into a safer, more comfortable rental as soon as possible!

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