Who Is Responsible For Pest Control In A Rented Property? Landlords vs Tenants:

  • By: Peter Parker
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Pests can be a disaster in a rented property. If you have ever lived in a property infested by pests, then you have an idea of how pests can be destructively dangerous to live with. 

Pest control is the responsibility of the landlord. The landlord should always ensure that the tenants live in a clean and safe environment that is free of pests that would otherwise cause health hazards to the tenants. This is according to the pest control apartment laws of different states. 

Though it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure a safe and clean environment for the tenants, pests such as rodents, bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas, or wasps in a rental apartment or property may not come as a one-time event. 

Some like bedbugs may become resistant and may cause issues between the landlord and the tenant on who is responsible, and this should not be a hazard to you as a tenant. You may also take responsibility for eradicating some pests like cockroaches or bedbugs in your house since they have a direct impact on your health. 

Landlord vs Tenant, Who is Responsible for What? 

The problem with some of the pests when not handled within the shortest time can multiply hence making it even more difficult to eradicate. 

Where there is a tussle between the landlord and the tenant on who should be in charge of controlling pests, it becomes difficult to manage and the pest problems may persist for long. 

This is where you should know your responsibility as a landlord or as a tenant.

Landlord Responsibilities in Pest Control 

Before the property is occupied by the tenants, it is your responsibility as a landlord to make it clean, safe, and habitable. That means, there should not be pests such as mice, rats, vermin, or insects among other pests. Therefore, some of your responsibilities include:

Seasonal pest control 

Some pests may come back within a short time, just after the tenant has occupied your property. If you aren’t a responsible landlord, you may want to blame it on the tenant, especially in the case of bedbugs or cockroaches. 

However, you should take responsibility for any pest regardless of who is responsible, or who caused the pests to infiltrate your property. Of course, seasonal control of pests is not expensive and if you take a keen pest control routine, you can easily overcome all the pests in your premises without issues with your tenant. 

Closing the loopholes 

As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Instead of waiting for pests to invest in your compound, it would be less costly to prevent them.

You can do a thorough inspection of your property, seal all the loops that would allow pests to enter such as cracks on the walls, bushes, broken windows and doors, and any other thing that would give access to pests.

Some pests might even bring others that are more dangerous such as snakes. It would be easier, therefore, to deal with rodents than to have your property infested by more dangerous pests. 

Payments for pest control 

As a landlord, you are responsible for paying the pest control expenses. Even if you think the tenant is the cause and should be financially responsible, that should come later when you have dealt with pests rather than having a tussle with your tenant when the pests are causing havoc in your property. 

Tenants’ Responsibilities in Pest Control 

Take an instance where a tenant lives with pets. This may attract fleas within the property. Some other tenant behaviors might attract pests and that is where the tenant becomes financially liable. 

Another instance is when the tenant becomes too negligent to maintain a clean environment within the house or apartment such as leaving garbage to stay around for so long or throwing rubbish anyhow around the compound.

When this is the case, and if it attracts rodents or any other pests, it becomes the responsibility of the tenant to bear eradication costs. 

Tenants Rights 

Apartment and rented property laws of different states and nations grant rights to tenants in relation to pest control.

Therefore, as a landlord, you should always ensure that the property is free of pests to avoid infringing on the rights of your tenants. Tenants, therefore, have the following rights:

  • Right to withhold rent. 
  • Right to break the lease and move out 
  • Right to move into temporary housing until pest issue is sorted. 

Implied Warranty of Habitability 

In almost all states and nations, the Implied Warranty of Habitability dictates so many things that a landlord must fulfill in order to make a rental property safe for its tenants. 

Among its provisions, for instance in California among many other states and countries, this warranty requires landlords to provide tenants with a habitable environment that is free of vermin or insects among other pests, failure to which the tenants have a right to sue or to withhold rent. 

Why Is It Important to Control Pests in A Rental Property? 

As a landlord, you are obliged by law to provide a habitable space for your tenants. This involves taking care of your property, ensuring that it is clean, safe, and without health hazards or pests among other obligations. 

As a tenant, on the other hand, you may be the victim of an unsafe environment. If the pests are harmful and your landlord is reluctant, it would be prudent to take responsibility before you can negotiate about it for your safety. You can also take action against your landlord if he or she is too negligent. 

Pest control, whether it is your responsibility as a landlord or as a tenant is important in the following ways:

  • It helps prevent health hazards or problems that would otherwise turn costly. 
  • It helps prevent more damage to property that would otherwise attract a huge cost of repairs.
  • It helps to keep a good reputation of the property. 
  • It helps to make tenants happy hence may not default or withheld payments. 

Final thoughts

At this point, you should have clearly understood your responsibilities as a landlord or as a tenant.

The most important thing to keep, especially if you are a landlord is that you carry the responsibility of providing a safe, clean, and habitable environment to your tenants.