It’s bad enough that you are living with a rodent or mold problem in your Camp Pendleton house, but to be accused of causing the problem by not keeping your home clean is outrageous. If you are a tenant of privatized military housing and are being blamed for unsanitary conditions, you may feel like you are backed into a corner. As a Marine and a lawyer in private practice, I can assure you that you have options and I’m here to tell you what they are.
Don’t Let Military Housing Landlords Bully You
Blaming you for problems that are common across the base is just a tactic to avoid responsibility, but it’s a particularly dirty tactic—pardon the pun. They know that the last thing you want is for your or your spouse’s C.O. to hear that you are keeping an unclean home. The military expects precision and discipline in all areas of a servicemember’s life, and to be accused of causing a rodent infestation or black mold blooms in military housing could affect the servicemember’s career. You may decide that it’s easier to just live with the problem, but that would be a mistake. Not only are you endangering your and your children’s health and safety, but you are letting a disreputable company get away with breaking the law.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself Substandard Military Housing
The key to proving that you are not responsible for the deplorable conditions in your base housing is to document everything. I suggest you do as much of the following as possible:
Take Pictures and Video
From the first mouse dropping in a drawer or damp area of carpeting to a full-blown outbreak, take pictures of everything. Don’t forget to get video or pictures of the entire kitchen or other areas of your home to show that you are keeping up with general housework.
Talk To Neighbors
Don’t be embarrassed about asking neighbors if they are having the same problem. If you have rodent nests in your attic or walls, they probably do too. Share pictures with each other so you both have documentation.
Contact The Previous Tenant
If at all possible, get in touch with the previous tenant and find out if they had the same problems. Simply removing a nest or painting over mold does not solve the problem, and it’s entirely possible that your mold or mouse problem was there when you moved in.
Document All Contact
Every time you fill out an online form, talk to a representative, or have a visit from a repair person, write it down in a log book or keep a copy of the report. It will be important to show the frequency of your complaints and the lack of action from the landlord.
Call Attorney Mike Cardoza
If you are being blamed for cockroaches, mice, mold, or mushrooms in your home, call me at the Cardoza Law Corporation. I work with servicemembers on bases across the country to protect their tenant rights and their rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Fill out the form on this page to get in touch with me today.