Anyone who has ever experienced a problem with unwanted pests knows how crappy of a situation it can be. This is especially true if the problem is happening to you in a rented apartment.
In a rental apartment, especially if it is part of a larger rental building, pest control problems can quickly spiral out of control due to the simple fact that a lot of people are living together. It is much harder to ensure that ten people have good cleanliness practices than one person.
As a landlord, the problem of pest control should be taken seriously. One of the primary questions that I often hear is people wondering whether or not paying for pest control is a landlord’s duty.
Start With Your Lease
Things like pest control can go both ways for a landlord. It can be a tenant’s responsibility or a landlord’s. It all depends on your lease agreement. (Keep in mind, however, that tenants might not take as strict of measures against pests as you would, thus causing the problem to worsen and potentially causing damage to your property).
You should clearly state in your lease agreement whose job it is to take care of and pay for pest control. Usually in an apartment building, a landlord will take care of it since so many tenants are living there all together. A problem in one tenant’s unit might actually be another tenants fault.
On the other hand, many landlords that rent private residences, such as homes, leave pest control up to their tenants. At the end of it all, it’s up to you, the landlord, to decide what’s best.
Prevent the Problem
The best way to handle pest control in any shape or form is by preventing it before it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, for the reasons discussed above, this is often hard to do in rental settings.
Start by encouraging your tenants to keep a tidy home. Ask them to not leave garbage or stray food lying around and to take their trash out as soon as it needs to be. Furthermore, keep your garbage bins located away from the building itself. Pests flock to these and bins left against the building could trigger a problem.
Keeping shrubbery cut away from the outer walls of your building is another great way to prevent outbreaks. Pests use these shrubs as ‘bridges’ of sorts to enter your home and taking them away will greatly reduce problems.
Take Action Early
Stress on your tenants the importance of letting you know when there are the first signs of a pest problem. Even if your lease designates tenants as responsible for pest control, you might just want to jump in on it and take charge before a big problem erupts. Taking action early can prevent the majority of infestations.
Pest control is normally a landlord responsibility. However, it can sometimes be a tenant responsibility. Your best bet is to work things out – and put it down in your lease agreement – before a problem arises.
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