Landlords face a unique challenge when dealing with pests on their property. This is a matter of maintaining their rental income, and the presence of various types of pests can undermine this source of revenue. There is the serious possibility of being shut down by various agencies for noncompliance, and this could result in the loss of thousands of dollars in rental income. The potential cost of not eliminating these pests is much higher than the costs involved with hiring a pest-control expert at My Pest Pros.
Here are the five basic things landlords should know about pest control for rental properties:
1. The costs of dealing with the bad publicity and other associated legal fees are frequently higher than the costs involved with simply paying for a professional to exterminate them from the property. Landlords should be careful to avoid any bad press that links them to a pest infestation.
2. The turnaround from tenants in rental properties tends to be very high. This is an invitation for pests to enter the building on the belongings of the new tenant. Even if the landlord cleans the apartment before the new occupant settles in, pests can still gain entrance to the property by clinging to furnishings and other belongings. Be aware of how pests gain entrance to the building, and take appropriate preventative steps. During the spring months, for example, new plants will produce pungent smells that can attract a variety of pests into the vicinity. Large critters like rodents will often feed on smaller prey, so the presence of small pests and insects could just be the beginning of your problems.
3. The laws that determine responsibility for pest control are very different from one area to the next. Landlords should research the specific rules and regulations that impact their area to determine the possible liability costs involved with a pest infestation on their rental property. In some jurisdictions, the laws regarding responsibility and liability for pest control are ambiguous. In these cases, the landlord might need to consult with a qualified attorney to determine the degree of liability involved in a lawsuit about a pest infestation.
4. Any existing rental agreements that mention pest control can be used in a court of law in the case of a pending lawsuit against the landlord or property owner. Whenever possible, make sure that any agreement about pest infestations are outlined in the rental contract. If you have an existing contract, review the terms carefully. Some contracts clearly make the maintenance of the property the responsibility of the landlord. This includes a variety of responsibilities including lawn maintenance and pest control. There is also a legal concept called warranty of habitability, which places the responsibility of maintaining decent living conditions on the landlord.
5. If the landlord is found liable for pest control on the property, the court could also award damages to tenants who are harmed from any diseases spread by these pests. Be prepared for these costs in advance to limit the amount of damage to your business. However, if the landlord is going to fight this battle in court, there must be clear and compelling evidence that shows the tenant to be responsible for the pest infestation. It is not easy to prove that the tenant was responsible for the infestation in many cases. The assumption of liability does tend to land on the landlord, so it is important to be aware of this reality.
Pest Infestations, Rental Properties
Controlling pest infestations requires diligence on the part of both landlord and tenant. Most pests are attracted to the smell of food or the presence of water inside of a building. They will also appear when water leaks are not fixed. This is the most common problem for landlords because they have no control over how the food is handled or stored in these rental properties. As tenants come and go, the new tenants might bring in hitchhikers that are not visible at first. These pests can hide in the furniture linings and other areas during transport. Other critters will enter the property through small cracks and crevices, and they can build nests inside of the walls or in other hidden, dark places. My Pest Pros can handle any infestation of pests with speed and accuracy. Contact us for more information.