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Rental Pest Control—Who’s Responsible?
11-05-2015
12-29-2015

One of the issues any property management company has to deal with on a regular basis is pest management in rental properties. And questions often arise over who is responsible for removing or controlling pests: is it the landlord’s or the renter’s responsibility? 

Here is a brief overview on how Propman Property Management looks at the issue of pest control for renters and landlords.

 

What is considered a pest?

Pests are considered any animal, insect, plant or organism that is in direct conflict with humans. They can threaten human health, damage property or landscaping, or create a general annoyance. Specific pests we can see in property management include: ants, rodents, termites, bees and wasps, for example, and sometimes roaches.

The landlord’s responsibility

A landlord must provide and maintain livable conditions for its tenants in a rental property, and many landlords provide for seasonal maintenance and prevention, such as with regular termite inspections or spraying. But just because the landlord can make these arrangements, it doesn’t mean that they always pay for pest control.

The tenant’s responsibility

If pest infestation is linked to a tenant behavior or actions, it is then up to the tenant to cover the costs for pest control. For example, ants and cockroaches can be drawn to unclean areas such as in the kitchen, around garbage cans, or under food areas in the pantry. Pests can also be drawn to wet areas caused by unchecked leaks or moisture caused by pets.

If there is a pest infestation, it is the responsibility of the tenant to contact the landlord immediately. Failure to do so could cause the problem to escalate.

The landlord, on his or her part, is required to investigate the situation and provide the correct solution, whether it is to take care of the infestation themselves or require the tenant to do so. The process and its resolution will be documented.

This is a general observation on this topic, and specifics may need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Leases also vary in their specifications for pest control, so check your lease to see what is required by your landlord.


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