No one wants to live in an infested home, whether it be roaches, ants, rats, or mites. But who’s responsible for getting rid of those pests in a rental unit?
It’s a universal understanding that insects and vermin constantly surround us to some degree, but for the most part, we don’t want them in our homes. You may see the occasional spider or ant, but most pests go largely unseen. This means that an infestation can be a seriously alarming event and disrupt someone’s daily life. While homeowners are quick to call pest control services, dealing with an infested rental property gets trickier. This begs the question–are landlords or tenants responsible for pest control?
What Should Tenants Do When They Find Pests?
When a tenant finds pests, they should first check their lease agreement to see if it outlines any procedures for reporting an infestation. Additionally, lease agreements and state laws vary, meaning that you should check both to see where the responsibility of pest control lies. Some lease agreements will state that the tenant is always responsible, while some state laws put the sole responsibility on landlords. Regardless, the tenant should report the problem immediately to the landlord.
What Should Landlords Do When a Tenant Reports Pests?
A pest control responsibility clause is one of the items you need to include in your lease agreement as a landlord, although many leases, unfortunately, go without one. If you have a pest control clause, it’s much easier to determine responsibility, aiding in resolving the issue much faster. Additionally, it is up to the landlord to document the infestation and take note of any possible causes by conducting consistent rental inspections. This way, if the tenant is at fault for the infestation, it’s easier to put pest control responsibilities on them.
When Are Tenants Responsible for Pest Control?
Generally, if the infestation is somehow linked to the tenant’s direct behavior, action, or inaction, it’s up to them to pay for pest control services. For example, if a pet has fleas that infest the home or a tenant doesn’t take out the garbage and subsequently attracts roaches, the tenant would be at fault for the infestation. Pest control services can tell the tenant and the landlord what caused the infestation if responsibility is not initially determined.
When Are Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?
It is a landlord’s responsibility to maintain livable conditions in a rental property. Due to this obligation, it is up to the landlord to take care of pest control when natural circumstances cause the infestation. For example, if a property is next to a lake or pond, aphids, mosquitoes, and other insects can easily infest the home, which would be out of the tenant’s control.
The answer to the question of whether landlords are responsible for pest control isn’t as simple as a yes or no. Ultimately, it depends on state laws, the lease agreement, and the cause of the infestation. When you consider these three factors, you can more easily determine who’s responsible for pest control services.