Landlords are legally required to provide safe and adequate housing to tenants, but not all landlords consider the safety and well being of their tenants a priority. Most states have laws that require landlords to provide pest-free living conditions, and this guarantee is standard in most apartment leases as well. Despite this legal responsibility, one elderly man from Los Angeles struggled in vain for several years to convince his landlord to have a termite infestation eradicated from his apartment unit. The landlord in this case continued to ignore the tenant’s legitimate demand for a termite inspection even after officials with the state government sent him non-compliance warnings. Due to years of inaction by the landlords, the elderly tenant was forced to share his home with termites for a period of 25 years. The infestation became so thick that termites located in the unit’s ceiling would drop their fecal matter onto the tenant during all hours of the day and night.
Back in 1994, an elderly disabled man, Paul Constantine, moved into a Highland Park neighborhood duplex in Los Angeles. Constantine immediately noticed that his apartment had a bit of a termite problem, but his landlords, Luis Hoyos and Ivan Rukavina, refused have the unit inspected. After having lived with the infestation for ten years, Constantine began to develop health problems as a result of the massive amounts of mold and termite feces within his unit. In addition to the landlord’s lack of compunction for the safety of Constantine’s living conditions, they also decided to illegally raise his rent. Eventually, Constantine reported his landlords to the Los Angeles Housing Community and Investment Division(LAHCID). The LAHCID paid to have the apartment inspected for termites and they sent compliance notices to the landlords. The private pest control company also informed the landlords about the deplorable, unsafe and thoroughly infested conditions within the unit. The landlords never responded to any of these warnings or reports.
Constantine would come home everyday to swarming termites and termite fecal matter falling from his ceiling. The fecal matter would fall into Constantine’s hair, eyes, mouth, ears, food, beverages, shower, sink, bed, couch, artwork, and on his pets. Constantine had to clean his bathtub five times per day in order reduce the accumulated fecal matter. By this point, the landlord’s criminal negligence became known to more government officials who sent letters that detailed the health and housing code and habitability violations that had been occurring within the unit. Luckily, Constantine is now suing his former landlords in court, but no amount of money can make up for what Constantine has been forced to live with for the past quarter century.
Have you ever spotted insect pests within another person’s house?Tags: Termite Control, Termite Exterminator, Termites