Who Is Responsible for Pest Control, Landlords or Tenants?
A pest invasion calls for immediate action. But who should take responsibility?
Landlords and tenants often get into conflicts surrounding pest control. It’s hard for them to decide which side is responsible for driving out unwanted visitors.
In this article, we’ll go over the major points related to pest control in rental properties. We hope you’ll have less confusion over pest infestation responsibilities after reading this piece.
When are landlords responsible for pest control?
Landlords need to ensure the habitability of a rental home, warns Paramount Management. Situations involving a pest infestation affect the living conditions in a rental property. When this is the case, it’s clearly the landlord’s responsibility to take the appropriate measures.
The key phrase here is ‘natural circumstances’. Any actions taken against a pest infestation due to natural circumstances should be financed by the landlord. It will be the landlord who contacts the exterminator and pays for the services.
This doesn’t mean that landlords are always responsible for pest control. Landlords mostly deal with prevention instead of extermination. They will order seasonal prevention procedures to diminish the risk of pest infestations.
When are tenants responsible for pest control?
The conditions leading to a pest infestation may not always be considered as natural. There are scenarios in which the renters are responsible for the extermination expenses.
Let’s go over the most common situations that hold the tenant accountable for pest control.
- Excess moisture. Certain pests enjoy a more humid home environment. Is there an increase in moisture levels due to renter’s actions? When it’s followed by a pest infestation, the tenant is held accountable for pest control.
- Lack of cleanliness. Poor hygiene and inadequate cleaning constitute major risk factors for pest infestations. Many pests, including cockroaches, are attracted to unclean homes.
- Pet-friendly rental properties have a higher risk of pest infestations. Cats, dogs, and other popular pets can contribute to a pest issue, such as a flea invasion.
These are just some of the possible scenarios that see the tenant held accountable for pest control. Depending on the particular case and its details, there are other scenarios and outcomes as well.
Who is responsible for bedbugs?
The influx of bedbugs in a rental property often sparks fierce debate. Many states and towns pass new regulations that aim to curb the spread of bedbugs. As a landlord, it’s essential to keep an eye on the related laws in your area.
Bedbugs are an especially grey area in terms of responsibility. These pests travel easily from one place to another. Various pathways include clothes, personal items, and skin.
Generally, tenants are responsible for the extermination of bedbugs when the property was free of the pests at turnover. When the property has a history of bedbug infestations, it’s usually the landlord who pays for the bedbug control services.
Pest control in your rental agreement
Does your rental agreement include pest control? Some landlords incorporate costs related to prevention and/or extermination in the lease. The agreement may hold the renter responsible for pest control activities. But this should be communicated by the landlord before signing the agreement.
In case the rental agreement fails to cover pest control issues, there are many factors that determine the responsibility.
- When did the pests enter the premises?
- Is the rental property habitable?
- What is the cause behind the pest invasion?
- Do any renter lifestyle factors contribute to the issue?
Pest invasions call for immediate intervention. Should a tenant contact the landlord because of a pest problem, it’s best for the landlord to take action right away. Not making an exterminator appointment may be seen as a failure to ensure the rental unit’s habitability.
In a nutshell: pest control responsibilities in a rental property
Pest invasion is a serious issue that affects the living conditions in a rental unit. Regardless of the underlying reasons, it’s essential to seek immediate professional help to remove the pests.
Often, pest control responsibility questions create conflicts between landlords and tenants. Here are some general guidelines for understanding the areas of responsibility better.
- Landlords are mostly responsible for pest control due to natural circumstances. However, the lease agreement could contain clauses that hold the tenant responsible instead.
- Tenants tend to be held accountable for pest issues that result from their behavior or lifestyle issues.