When it comes to owning a rental property, there are a lot of elements a property owner must consider. Whether it’s damages to the property and who’s responsible, how to handle the leasing process, or staying up-to-date on local laws, there is a lot that goes into property management. A common question we receive from owners is regarding the presence of pests in the home during a tenancy, and who is responsible for remedying the situation.
When do we treat a property for the presence of pests?
While we try to ensure properties are in good condition prior to a tenant moving in, the presence of pests is always a possibility, whether the owner resides in the property or a tenant does. As soon as we are notified of any pests, it is essential that we handle the issue quickly and thoroughly before it grows.
We encourage our tenants to notify us as soon as they note a damage or an infestation. This allows us to document the issue promptly, assess what could be causing the issue, and take the proper action.
Termites are not an uncommon pest, but are a good example of an issue that should be handled quickly. The owner of the property is responsible for the fees associated with handling this type of pest, as termites typically come from underground or in the air.
Termites are handled in a way that is unique from other pests, because delaying action could cause damage to the home. The longer you wait when an issue arises of the nature, the more expensive it can get.
We provide a bed bug disclosure to all of our tenants. This type of disclosure applies to all residential properties. We provide instructions on how to report an infestation to us, provide information on bed bugs, and make the process as smooth as possible.
This disclosure can help tenants quickly identify bed bugs or determine if it is not a bed bug, understand that bed bugs live for about 10 month and grow to adulthood in about 21 days, and can survive for months, even without feeding. We also share information on identifying bug bites.
If a tenant reports an infestation, we will investigate the issue and notify the tenant on the findings. Any infestation will be treated.
Cockroaches and Ants
Ants and cockroaches are the most common pest issues that we see. When a tenant reports an ant infestation or begins noticing the presence of cockroaches, the owner is responsible for providing an initial service.
In the case that the issue continues to occur, we will look into the problem thoroughly to determine the cause. In some cases, the cause could be due to an issue that the tenant will need to cover, but in others, it may be determined that the owner is responsible to remedy the situation.
A consistent issue with these types of pests, even after treating the issue, can indicate a cause coming from inside of the unit. Leaving out food, or not promptly cleaning messes can attract these types of pests and for this reason, if the issue persists despite treatment, the tenant then becomes responsible for their removal.
Mosquitos and Gnats
Mosquitos and gnats are common pests as well, but do not constitute an issue inside of the home that an owner or property management company would cover. Tenants are responsible for managing these issues through a number of ways. Tenants can utilize screens to ensure bugs are not coming into the home from outside, or can keep the doors closed. There are many, widely available remedies to reduce the presence of both of these pests.
Gnats are often a sanitary issue, as they breed in decaying materials. Garbage disposals and yard clippings are both favored spots and warmer months can exacerbate the problem. Tenants can take measures like cleaning the disposal with bleach, and ensuring fruits and vegetables are in the refrigerator to limit the presence of gnats.
Other pests, such as wasps, bees, or spiders are, in many cases, the owner’s responsibility. Because we do investigate these issues to determine the cause, there is not always a set rule, but is rather handled on a case-by-case basis.
If you are interested in learning more about how we handle maintenance issues, how maintenance issues are billed, and our pricing structure, you can visit our website here, or reach out to us by filling out our contact form.