Everybody knows the risks involved with renting an apartment unit. These days, landlords and property managers include provisions for handling certain insect infestations in their leases and rental agreements. The explosion in the bed bug population has forced many landlords to address potential insect infestations or risk hefty lawsuits filed by disgruntled tenants. Insects like bed bugs can infest homes and apartments in just about any location. Residents of the northeast United States are just as likely to fall victim to bed bug infestations as residents of southern California. However, if you rent an apartment in the state of Florida, then be prepared for termite infestations. Although termite infestations occur within every US state besides Alaska, some US states host an abundance of different termite pest species, which makes the risk of infestation more pronounced. The Gulf Coast states see the greatest amount of termite-induced property damages, and this is especially true in Florida where one woman has been living with a termite infestation for eight months.
Around one year ago, Alishia Taylor moved into the Washington Heights Apartments in Ribault near Jacksonville. Taylor was well aware of the potential downsides involved with renting an apartment unit, but within the first month of living in the complex, Taylor discovered mice and mold. Shortly after making these discoveries, Taylor learned that she also had a termite infestation. Taylor did not waste any time notifying the apartment managers about the termite problem, but she is still waiting for a response. In frustration, Taylor sent a picture of a nesting mound that termites had formed in the middle of her apartment unit. After receiving the pictures, a reporter with Action News Jax, Courtney Cole, interviewed Taylor while being given a tour of her termite infested apartment unit. The interview and tour were televised. During the tour, Taylor pointed out areas in her kitchen and living room where termites were gaining entrance. According to a pest control operator commenting on the apartment unit’s condition, the termites were coming into the apartment from underneath the ground, which means that other units in the building must also be infested with termites. Taylor claimed that her neighbors were also experiencing termite issues, but they do not want to complain in fear of being evicted.
Do you think that there should be more need-based legal services available to people who are experiencing disputes with landlords concerning insect infestations?