When there is a pest infestation in a rental property, it needs to be dealt with immediately. Property damage, health hazards, and overall quality of living for your tenants can be compromised quickly by these unwanted intruders. As a property owner and landlord, that means you have to take care of your pest problem quickly – and the responsibility is yours to foot the bill.
Luckily, if you are well-prepared for any potential types of pests, you can have your tenants report problems so that potential pest problems can be dealt with quickly and efficiently. The best way to do this is by having a relationship with a local pest control company who is familiar with your properties.
Read up on why you need coverage and how best to achieve it below.
Who Pays for Pest Control in a Rental Property?
The hope is that small, self-contained property issues can be dealt with by your tenants. However, the reality is the landlord and tenant relationship dictates that property owners bear the cost of pest control services. Given that pest control falls under general maintenance at a minimum, we recommend establishing this as a best-practice with all your tenants.
This is especially important to recognize due to the implied warrant of habitability in any lease, as well as overt language in most contracts regarding health and safety, therefore handling a potentially dangerous pest infestation cannot be delayed. The best way you can save yourself time, money, and stress is by already having a reputable pest control service that is familiar with your property and provides fair rates for quality service.
Signs of Pest Problems in a Rental Property
A great way to avoid significant damage, cost, and legal issues for your rental property is to use preventative measures. Look for signs such as:
- Grease Marks and Grease Tracks from rodents or bugs making the trip from a nest to a food or water source.
- Shredded Material such as cardboard that is used to make nests and homes for rats, mice, or other unwanted guests.
- Pest Droppings are one of the most telling signs of any pest infestation.
- Noises in Walls can be from rodents, termites, or any pest that is chewing on your walls.
- Structural Damage and Chewed-On Plants can be signs that pests are gnawing on your property.
Making sure that you have a good system of communication with your tenants so that they are quick to report issues will go a long way in the maintenance of your property.
How to Document Pest Control Problems
As property owners, you can never assume that everything will go according to plan – that’s when unexpected pest issues present the most problems. In order to best avoid a huge headache, have your tenants, property management (if you have it), and pest-control professionals document all pest problems.
We recommend implementing these standards for pest control documentation in a rental property:
- Create a pest control addendum: This document should be signed by the property owner and tenants and identifies obligations about reporting and payment.
- Take pictures of everything: Having photographic evidence of your property in the state it has been leased to a tenant is important on your end. Similarly, having your tenants take pictures of any damages or signs of pests will only make communicating with pest control technicians easier.
- Keep receipts for all work: If your tenant books a third-party vendor, they should provide you a receipt for reimbursement. Similarly, if you are using a pest-control service regularly, itemizing these repairs will help you track pest control issues and their cost.
- Keep a record of response time: Your responsibility as a property owner is to mitigate a pest problem in a timely manner. Recording when you get a request from a tenant and when you have resolved the problem will be the safest way to hold all parties accountable.
There are no one-size-fits all procedures for pest control in rental properties. If you live in an area that is heavily affected by pests, it is prudent to invest in regular service from pest control professionals to be proactive in preventing any oncoming problems.
Pest Control Best Practices for Renters and Property Owners
Follow these best practices at a rental property in order to have the best landlord-tenant relationship, as well as keep your property pest-free and undamaged:
1) Establish and sign a pest control addendum.
2) Educate your tenants on pest prevention: taking the trash out often, cleaning, keeping waste covered, storing food, etc.
3) Create clear lines of communication between tenants and property management.
4) Document everything.
5) Schedule regular services from professional pest control services.
When it comes down to it, the best service you can provide is proactive inspections and treatments from a professional pest control service. If you adhere to these policies and work with a company you can trust, you should have very few pest control problems in your rental property.
Partner With Insectek for Pest Protection
At Insectek, we know how stressful a pest problem can be – especially if it’s in a rental property and you need to solve it quickly. We work hand-in-hand with homeowners and property management companies to provide consistent and comprehensive services for any situation.
If you’re looking to protect yourself, your tenants, and your properties from pests, please reach out to us today for an instant evaluation. We’re ready for any pest problem that might come your way.