New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine July/August 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

BUILDING OPERATIONS

HOW NYC CO-OP AND CONDOS OPERATE

Mice in the Walls

Greenwich Village

Mice Infest
March 29, 2016

A co-op shareholder in Greenwich Village is experiencing an onslaught of mice in his apartment. Since the co-op board provides just a monthly exterminator visit, the shareholder hired his own pest-control pros. The mice just kept coming. If the mice are living in the walls, can the shareholder demand that the board take action?

“Old infrastructure often has lots of pathways between units, between floors,” Matt Frye, a Cornell University entomologist tells the Ask Real Estate column in The New York Times. “It’s all connected.”

Because the mice live inside the building, they’re the building’s problem. “Co-ops are responsible for addressing whatever falls outside the four walls of the individual apartment,” says attorney Andrew J. Wagner. This includes vermin.

By failing to address the infestation, the board could be violating the proprietary lease and city codes, and also breaching the warranty of habitability, a state law.

Mice can fit through a hole in the wall the size of a dime. But if you’ve had them visit your apartment, you know they can be a huge headache. Boards need to step up.

Ask the Experts

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Learn all the basics of NYC co-op and condo management, with straight talk from heavy hitters in the field of co-op or condo apartments

Professionals in some of the key fields of co-op and condo board governance and building management answer common questions in their areas of expertise

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