When you’re a landlord, one of your top priorities is ensuring that your rental properties are in good condition for your tenants, including taking care of any pest control issues.
This blog post will discuss who is responsible for pest control in a rental property and what you can do to fix it before calling for commercial pest control services.
Determining Who is Responsible For Pest Control
As a property owner or manager, you must know who is responsible for pest control. Sometimes, the tenant is responsible for caring for any pests that invade the apartment. First and foremost, it’s a landlord’s responsibility to maintain healthy conditions for their tenants. If there is a potential health concern with a pest problem, the landlord will be responsible for eliminating the pests.
Conditions that can lead to dangerous or unhealthy living conditions for renters should be avoided or handled at all costs, no matter who is at fault. As a tenant, you can try a few DIY methods before calling commercial pest control, depending on the pest in question.
- Placing traps around the apartment
- Spraying insecticide in the affected areas
- Using natural pest repellents like peppermint oil or citrus peels
Commercial pest control is always an option if the DIY methods don’t work or you’re uncomfortable doing them.
Determining who is responsible for pest control is cut and dry; in most cases, the property owner or property management company is responsible for seeking pest control treatment. If a tenant’s actions caused an infestation, the tenant might be held accountable for resolving it. The landlord must show that the tenant caused the infestation. It’s equally critical that the landlord and tenant document any unhealthy living circumstances caused by pests. Bed bugs, rodents, and insects are all pests to be wary of and ones that can cause significant health concerns. It’s necessary to address problems like these quickly before they worsen and cause substantial damage to the unit or spread to other units.
When is a Tenant Responsible For Treatment?
A tenant is held responsible for not introducing pests into the home via their conduct and immediately reporting any issues they notice. The following are some things that tenants can do to keep pests out:
- Clean, sweep, and dust the unit
- Don’t let food and waste pile up in the unit
- Contact the building maintenance or repair department for dripping faucets or leaky seals around windows and doors.
When paying for pest control, check the lease to see if the landlord is legally required to perform such services. If the tenant caused the problem through their conduct or did not report it as soon as possible when discovered, they may be held responsible for the cost.
What Should Tenants do if They Notice Pests?
If you notice pests in your apartment, taking immediate action will save time. Do not wait for the problem to get worse. Instead, tenants should do these things:
- Report the problem to the landlord or property management company and ask for the appointment time.
- Clean up any trash, dirt, or debris that could contribute to the problem.
- Check the lease for details on responsibility. Again, depending on the agreement, it could go either way.
- Take necessary action if the landlord doesn’t address the problem and eliminate the pests.
- If needed, refer to your state’s laws on pest control. Different states have different definitions of livable conditions that could change the situation.
What Can Landlords do to Address Pest Concerns?
As with many situations, there is a right way to handle it and a wrong way. The best way to avoid commercial pest control issues is by proactively addressing the problem and being as preventative as possible. Here are some tips on what landlords can do:
- Inspect the property regularly for any signs of pests, such as droppings, holes in walls, or chew marks
- If you, or your tenants, notice any signs of pests, take care of the problem immediately
- Be proactive in sealing up cracks and holes that might let pests in
- Keep the property clean and tidy; clutter provides places for pests to hide
- If you find pests, determine what they are so you can eliminate them quickly
- If you find a significant infestation, let your tenants know that you’re handling the situation and keep them informed
- Consider using commercial pest control services regularly to prevent any infestations
When a Landlord Fails to Provide Pest Control
Due to the relationship between landlord and tenants, tenants may not believe they can do anything about it if their landlord is not addressing the problem. However, this isn’t the case–tenants have options and should take action if their landlord does not provide pest control.
The first step is to talk to the landlord about the problem and ask them to solve it. If they don’t listen or don’t take action, the tenant can do one of three things:
- Withhold rent until the landlord provides commercial pest control or repairs to eliminate the problem. Check your state and local laws to ensure you have a legal president to do this first. Be sure to keep records and send written notice.
- Terminate the lease if the problem is not resolved and find another place to live. Again, be sure to keep records and send written notice.
- Move into temporary housing and deduct that from next month’s rent. Only use this as a last resort after you’ve tried everything else.
Hiring Commercial Pest Control For Your Rental Property in California
If you own rental property in California, you may wonder if you’re legally required to provide commercial pest control services to tenants. Yes-under California law, landlords must ensure their rental property is free of pests and rodents. No matter the cause, commercial pest control should be a priority. Landlords and tenants should work together to keep the property pest-free and safe for everyone.
If you need commercial pest control services for your rental property in California, Gecko Pest Control can help. We’re a family-owned and operated business providing cutting-edge service by knowledgeable and experienced technicians. We’re also licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your property is in good hands. Contact us today to learn more about our commercial pest control services or to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to helping you keep your property pest-free!