Can I Sue My Neighbors for Roaches and Actually Win?
As a homeowner I’m of a firm belief that roaches are disgusting pests that I don’t want anywhere near my property. Unfortunately, even if I do everything in my power to keep a clean house or apartment, if I have filthy neighbors, their roach infestation could soon become mine too. What are my options though? Can I sue my neighbors for roaches? Do people actually do this and win?
You can absolutely sue your neighbors for roaches that come onto your property. However, there is a good chance you will lose unless you’re able to provide solid proof and evidence for your case.
In this article, we will focus on how to deal with your neighbor if roaches are coming from their property onto yours. We’re also going to share some tips on how to sue your neighbor if you decide to take that course of action.
Neighbor’s Roach Problems
Pests always make a home less desirable to live in. Whether its’ rats, mice, or flies, sharing your home with these critters can make you feel uncomfortable all the time. But some cases of pest problems are beyond our control because they could be finding their way from your neighbor’s home or apartment.
If you’re dealing with roaches coming in from neighbors, that would even present a more challenging problem. This means you’ll have to confront your neighbor about it and probably cause tension – depending on your relationship with them.
Many residents however, end up suing their neighbors because of the persistent roach problems their neighbor refuses to address. If you reached the point of taking legal action, you need to be prepared so that you actually have a shot at winning the case.
Preliminary Steps To Take Before Suing My Neighbors For Roaches
Suing your neighbor for a roach infestation is something you should do as a last resort. You should only take this course of action if communicating with your neighbor didn’t work and you have no options left.
Many homeowners agree that you won’t have a strong case. Nevertheless, here are some tips on what you can do about the roach problems.
- You must also exhaust all methods of dealing with the situation, such as talking to your neighbor, talking to the homeowner’s association, hiring an exterminator) before taking things to court.
- Secure evidence or any proof that your neighbor is the source of infestation.
- Call the township health officials if you have a persistent roach problem. Persistent would mean roaches keep appearing despite already taking active and preventive measures against them.
- Once the health officials have proven a violation from your neighbor, it could strengthen your cases should you consider taking it to small claims court.
What Are My Chances Of Winning?
In most cases, the chances of winning the lawsuit are low because it’s hard to prove roaches are really coming from your neighbor. Nevertheless, if you want to escalate it to small court claims, you should do the following:
- Prove that roach infestation is from your neighbor
- Prove that your neighbor’s actions or inactions resulted in the infestation
- Explain the damages inflicted upon you, as a result of the infestation
Prove The Source of Infestation
Just because you say that your neighbor is causing the roach problem doesn’t mean it has to be true. You can’t even go to your neighbor’s house to do an inspection just so you can have your proof.
You might also consider this: what if your neighbor is dealing with the same roach problem? What if the roaches from their house that crept into yours, are, in fact, roaches from somewhere else? Somewhere between you and your neighbor could be an area of roaches, which makes these pests yours and your neighbor’s.
Prove Neighbor’s Actions Or Inactions
As mentioned, your neighbor could also be dealing with a similar problem and you didn’t know about it. If you want to win a case, can you prove that your neighbor didn’t do anything to drive away roaches such as calling the exterminator?
Can you prove that your neighbor’s dwelling and hygiene habits are the reason for the swarm of roaches in your area? Again, this could be difficult to prove unless you spend a lot of time and effort investigating the matter on your own.
Explain The Damages Caused
Being repulsed is a natural reaction from seeing roaches. But that alone doesn’t qualify as damage done. Damage caused by the infestation means you had food ruined, you got sick and then missed work because you had to recover after going to the doctor.
When you have all the proof mentioned above and you can show how much the roach problem impacted your life, then you could have a case. However, there’s no way of knowing whether you’ll win or lose. You’ll have to find a lawyer to help you. That could cost you a lot for a roach problem but you should ask yourself, is it worth all the trouble?
Alternatives To Suing My Neighbors For Roaches
You always have alternatives when it comes to dealing with roaches you believe are from your neighbor. Many people would rather take this route because it is less stressful and less expensive. Unless the roach problems have direct effects on your physical and mental well-being, you should consider the options below:
- Shoulder the exterminator fees – Your neighbor may not have considered calling the exterminators because he doesn’t have the resources to do so. In this case, since you also suffer from the roach infestation, why not make it a common problem and offer to pay for the exterminators?
- If you are in an apartment, make sure to bug your landlord about the roaches. Your landlord should be the one to talk to your neighbor and help solve the matter.
Dealing with roaches is a nasty job. Sometimes, though, you’re not always at fault and you might suspect that your neighbor is the source. In that case, the best thing to do is to talk to your neighbor and bring up the roach problem.
If you have exhausted all your methods of dealing with the issue, you might consider suing your neighbor for it. While possible, filing a lawsuit against your neighbor because of cockroaches will take time, effort, and resources on your part.
In most cases, it would be difficult to win the case since it’s hard to prove that your neighbor is indeed the source. Instead, there are many less expensive and less troublesome alternatives you can consider.