When it comes to renting property, it can be confusing to know when the landlord should step in to help – especially when it comes to pest control. Good news: we have some help to answer this question.
Read The Fine Print
Essentially, the landlord and the tenants are both responsible for pest control. Most renting contracts should have a section where it talks about pest control. It should highlight the responsibilities of the landlord and tenants, but every location is different and may require different expectations.
When Are The Landlords Responsible?
Prior to anyone renting an apartment or house, the landlord needs to make sure the space is livable. They need to make sure any pests are gone, and the living space is structurally sound. That means that any and all holes, cracks and openings for pests to get into is closed off. A mouse can fit through a hole the diameter of a pencil. After that is done, the landlord should document everything in case a tenant expresses a problem later. The landlord will be able to know if the problem was from something they missed or caused by the tenant.
When Do The Tenants Become Responsible?
After the residents move in, it is all about timing. The first thing they should do is document anything they see that could be a sign of pests. They have a short window of time after moving in that they can have the landlord fix problems. In some situations, once that time has passed, the tenants are responsible for any pest control.
Bed bugs are an exception because they are a pest that can easily be transferred from a new tenant to a new home. This makes it hard to prove the bugs were there prior to the move in, so tenants more often than not pay for the removal.
The biggest reason for an infestation is because of the lack of cleanliness. Failure to take out the trash and sealing food incorrectly are the most common factors.
Bottom line? Check your lease. Many apartment buildings have pest control fees tied into your rent and offer weekly or monthly pest control services. In some cases, the tenant has to ask for service. In others, a pest control company will provide services – even if not requested.