Are Tenants or Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?

When a property is rented, one of the most overlooked aspects is pest control. Is the property pest-free? Are there any structural issues that could encourage the entry of pests? Does the rental contract include any details about pest inspections or treatments already conducted? Who is responsible for keeping the property pest-free – landlord or tenant?

Before understanding the roles of both the parties, let’s understand which pests are more likely to affect a property.

What are some of the most common pests?

Cockroaches, bed bugs, rodents, spiders, termites, silverfish, ants, fleas, ticks and flies are some of the most common pests found across the U.S. Pests like bed bugs are stubborn and require comprehensive bed bug treatment for effective results.

Some areas tend to attract certain pests more depending on the location. For instance, in the South, termites are the most common pests found in homes. Some commercial pest control services offer free pest and termite inspections. Talk to a professional pest control expert and ask if you can avail a free inspection.

Now, let’s take a look at the responsibilities of the landlord, as well the tenant, when it comes to keeping a rental property free from pests.

What is the landlord responsible for?

In most states, the landlords are legally required to maintain and offer a pest-free property. The tenants are more likely to sign the lease renewal and the cost of searching for new tenants is eliminated when the property is well-maintained.

Also, happy tenants mean positive reviews, which can help attract new tenants easily.

Listed below are the responsibilities of the landlord:

  • The property should be inspected and any pest infestations should be removed thoroughly by a professional pest control service provider before a new tenant occupies the property.
  • All structural issues in the property such as cracks, seals or any openings in doors, windows or torn screens should be addressed before the property is rented. Remember, pests such as mice can enter into the home from holes as small as the size of a pencil.
  • The rental contract should include a specific section related to the maintenance of the property which has been carried out for preventing pests.

What is the tenant responsible for?

Tenants are partly responsible when it comes to pest-control of a rental property.

Here’s what they need to do:

  • Before signing the rental contract, the property should be inspected with great care to see if there are any signs of pests.
  • The rental contract should be reviewed thoroughly and the landlord should be asked about pest control if nothing is mentioned in the contract.
  • The property, once rented, should be kept clean and free from pests. Regular cleanup should be done because clutter and carelessness can give way to pest infestations. Food containers should be kept properly sealed when not in use. There should be no water stagnation around the property.
  • Any structural damage or signs of pests should be immediately reported to the landlord and necessary action should be taken to terminate the pests. This can help avoid any expensive and time-consuming efforts in the long run.
  • Carelessness with garbage disposal is one of the most common reasons as to why pests are attracted to any property. Always keep the garbage bins covered. Dispose of all garbage properly and follow the garbage disposal and collection rules of your new community.

Both the landlord and the tenant should fulfill their responsibilities when it comes to keeping the property pest-free for a win-win situation. Regular inspection can help in the early identification of any signs of a pest infestation. This enables both parties to save a lot of time, money and efforts in the future.

Property management companies should seek the services of professional pest control experts when required as this is more likely to give effective results.