Whether you are new to the property investment market or a seasoned pro, at some point, you will inevitably face the question of whether you should cover pest control in your tenant-occupied unit. As the warm spring weather brings with it tiny tenants seeking residence indoors, we thought it timely to devote some blog space to the topic.
Before your rental home is leased, the gray area is eliminated. After all; you won’t be able to rent property that is teaming with flies, ants, roaches or mice, not to mention your house won’t meet building codes unless you clear the decks of rodents of every size. More complicated is the question of who should handle hiring and paying an exterminator if pests become a problem after your tenants move in. Left unresolved, this pesky problem could potentially cause a rift in the landlord-tenant relationship.
Wherever you live and lease property, here are a few guidelines we think might help:
- The most important question to answer about pest control is who is responsible. While subtleties exist according to region, in general, the tenant is obligated to keep the living space clean while the landlord is responsible for maintaining the rental property so that it remains fit for human habitation and meets building code standards. Both parties, the landlord and the tenant, are responsible for preventing pest infestations.
- If a pest problem occurs, the party that didn’t fulfill their duty to keep pests out is generally considered the responsible one. For example, if roaches or rodents show up because of uncovered food items or rotting garbage, this represents negligence on the part of the tenant.
- When weighing options, property owners should consider the implications of failing to act once pests become an issue, regardless of who is to blame for the infestation. In other words, your ultimate goal should be to protect your investment. If you think your current tenants may be ruining your property, you might consider pursuing eviction instead of refusing to act in a way that will ultimately harm your property.
- California law recognizes an “implied warranty of habitability” for tenants. So if the property or units become naturally infested with bugs, rodents or bees, etc to the point of (making) the home being inhabitable, the property manager must take action to eliminate pests.
- In many states, property owners have a responsibility to provide notice to tenants when they contract with a pest exterminator. A new pest control service requires the landlord to provide notice before the first treatment and the use of pesticides. If the pest control company changes pesticides, another notice must be given to the tenant to inform of the new pesticides.
Here at JLA Real Estate Group we help you cover all the bases when renting out your home and most importantly we are licensed to do so. Our company is supported by property management, accounting, maintenance, client services and administrative resources. We will manage your property and ensure all legal guidelines are met.
If you would like a copy of our Property Management Diagnostic which will help you understand how to manage your property please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.