Who is responsible for pest control in a rental apartment?
Roaches, bedbugs, spiders, termites, ants, fleas, and flies are the most common pests found in almost every home universally and more so across the United States.
Most of these insects and bugs are tenacious and will require comprehensive pest and bug management strategies for effective and efficient results.
Different locations attract different pests depending on the weather patterns. For example, in South America termites are common home pests. In this case, pest control in the rental is a major factor to focus on before making this huge decision of property rent.
Pests bring with them diseases to your home and although dealing with pets is problematic; therefore it is good for the landlords and tenants to share roles on how to keep a pest-free rental home.
When one is about to rent a property, pest infestation and control is one of the main overlooked aspects. What many property renters forget to ask themselves is, Is this property pest-free? Is there any structural issue that encourages pests’ entry?
In the rental contract are there details about pest inspection or treatment? Who should be responsible for ensuring the property is pest-free?
Before coming up with a conclusion as to who should take care of pest control in a rental apartment, let us first understand what pests are likely to affect the property.
Pests will invade even the nicest, neatest homes. Mice and rats find their way in the property or home dashing for a tasty sumptuous morsel from your kitchen when you are asleep. Not forgetting the roaches, ants, and termites who will freely and uninvited invade your space.
Efforts to get rid of these unwanted pests might not be successful and eventually, the services of an exterminator may be required. However, whose responsibility is it; the landlord or the tenant.
In most cases, when the landlord is solely responsible for pest control in a rented apartment, the definitive responsibility relies on the severity and nature of the menace. In most states, landlords are required by the law to uphold and offer pest-free property.
Most tenants are likely to sign a lease renewal and thus the cost for searching for new tenants is inevitable once a property is well maintained. Similarly contented and happy tenants mean positive reviews that thus a landlord will easily attract new tenants.
Laws vary from town to town, and occasionally, from state to state. Nonetheless, no matter where you reside, the landlord must ensure the rental apartment is inhabitable. Habitability means a home has no issues that could negatively affect a person’s health or safety. Having a few ants in the kitchen is a minor pest-control problem that the tenant can handle.
The landlord can advise tenants to set out ant traps and clean the areas overran by ants. That should suffice. This is an example of a habitability issue. A hole in the roof that leaks in rain and insects to enter a rental unit is an example of a pre-existing issues and the landlord must repair this problem.
Tenants are partly accountable when it comes to pest-control of a rental property.
Here’s what they need to do before leasing a rented apartment.
- Before signing a rental contract, the tenant must examine and inspect with great care to see if there are any signs of pests.
- A rental contract should be reviewed comprehensively and the landlord should be quizzed about pest control if nothing is declared in the contract.
- The property, once rented, should be kept clean and free from pests. Consistent cleanup should be done because untidiness and negligence can give way to pest invasions.
- All structural damage or signs of pests should be instantly reported to the landlord and essential action practiced to terminate the pests. This can help evade any costly and laborious efforts in the long run.
- Carelessness with refuse disposal is one of the most communal reasons as to why pests are attracted to any property. The garbage bins covered and disposal of all garbage according to the garbage disposal and collection rules of your new community. Similarly, if there is a roach infestation in an apartment as a result of dirty dishes and boxes of half-eaten pizza, the tenant would be responsible for extermination costs.
Listed below are the responsibilities of the landlord:
- The landlord must ensure the property is inspected and any pest invasions removed by a professional pest provider before a new tenant inhabits the property. If the rental was vacant and there’s an ant infestation before the tenant moves in, the tenant is not to blame. The landlord needs to get rid of the ants
- All mechanical issues in the property such as cracks, seals, or any openings in doors, windows, or torn screens should be taken care of before the property is rented out again. It is noteworthy that pests such as mice can come into the home from holes as small as the size of a pencil. Termites are usually a property-related issue. It is therefore the landlord’s role to treat the source of the problem, which could be wet, rotting wood on the exterior.
- The rental contract should include a precise section associated with the maintenance of the property which has been carried out for preventing pests.
Both the landlord and the tenant must accomplish their responsibilities when it comes to keeping the property pest-free for a win-win condition. Consistent inspection can help in the early identification of any signs of a pest invasion. This enables both parties to save a lot of time, money, and efforts in the future.
In conclusion, pest control will majorly depend on the severity of the issue and whether the tenant may have caused the infestation. Minor temporary issues are best taken off by tenants.
It’s in the landlord’s best interest to deal with any pest issues as soon as they occur, not forgetting the tenant-caused pest problems. The longer a pest issue goes untreated, the worse the problem will become.
As a property owner, you are responsible for all pest and vermin control, with the exception being that the problem was caused by the tenant. It also a landlord’s responsibility to provide a clean and habitable environment for his tenants.