Possum-ridden family left with few legal options

7:48 PM, May 9, 2012   |    comments
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(AP file photo)

NORCROSS, Ga. (WXIA) -- Possums invading a first floor apartment is not something anyone would want to experience.

Since early April, Lakisha Dominick said she, her husband and two children have killed eight of them in their apartment.

The family says they repeatedly told management at the Highland Lakes Apartments in Norcross about it, but despite exterminators, they said the possums just kept showing up.

Dominick says she even brought two of them to the front office looking for help.

Fearing illness or disease, the family has since moved out of the apartment and for now, they are living with relatives.

Management has offered another apartment, but they said that wouldn't be available until mid-June. Dominick says management has also offered a month's free rent. But the family wants more.

But in Georgia, what Dominick is entitled to is quite limited.

11Alive's Bill Liss put Dominick together with an Atlanta attorney to take a closer look at the state's landlord-tenant laws.

"I feel they should compensate me for the months of April, May and June rent. They should accommodate me as far as finding a place to live until they have an apartment ready for me," said Dominick.

"She is entitled to break the lease of the current apartment she resides in now and move into another apartment. What she is not entitled to at this point is compensation for damages based on the fact that she can break the lease. Unfortunately tenants are somewhat limited. They are not entitled to compensation under these particular circumstances," said attorney Tom Salata.

"I'll go further," said Dominick. "I'll go as far as I have to go because at the end of the day I will be compensated."

Dominick says she plans to hire an attorney and says she may seek to recover the cost of medical expenses in examinations for her children, along with compensation for possum damage to the family's furniture and clothing.

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