by Marcela Guajardo
Posted on 2019-10-18 20:17:02
Pest Control in Rental Properties
One of the biggest issues tenants reports to landlords is pest infestations. All pest control issues should be handled immediately to prevent a bigger issue. Pest control can be expensive to take care of after the infestation has become large. The responsibility of who the handle issues may cause conflict between landlord and tenant. The lease may cover who is responsible for pest control, and the landlord must ensure that there are no infestations in the unit prior to the tenants moving in.
The landlord may be responsible for the pest control service if pest infestation occurs naturally, such as wasps, spiders, termites, and mice. Taking care of pests before it becomes an ongoing issue is the most cost-efficient solution. Having the unit undergo a termite inspection is always a good thing and keeping good records of when an infestation has been taken care of.
Sometimes the infestation may have been caused by the tenant’s negligence. In those cases, it is the responsibility of the tenant to cover the expenses. The tenant may fail to keep the property clean and let garbage pile up in the unit. In those cases, cockroaches, ants, and mice will start to infest the unit. The landlord can set up an appointment with pest control on behalf of the tenant. When the exterminator goes to the unit to complete the service, they can assess if the pest infestation could have been caused by the tenant’s carelessness. If it is determined that it is caused by the tenant, they are financially responsible.
If pest control is determined to be a landlord’s responsibility, there are steps to be taken.
Any reports of pest infestation should be taken seriously to prevent any damage to the property.
Gaining all information on the pests will help determine how extensive the issue is especially in a multi-family building.
Make sure the pest is being identified correctly to ensure the exterminator knows what they are dealing with. Tenants may not know the exact type of pest in the property, and pictures may help clarify the type.
Locating areas of weakness such as any gaps or holes the pest may be entering from any seal them. Exterminators can help by pointing these areas out after service.
Once the type of pest has been determined, the landlord can decide if it is something, they are able to handle themselves or if an exterminator is needed. It is crucial that this decision is made quickly so that the infestation is dealt with.
In case of future conflict, all complaints from tenants should be recorded. This should include the date and type of complaint and the landlord’s action to resolve the issue. An organized record will provide proof that the landlord took steps to resolve and prevent the issue.