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tien le

The manager Adan and representative Kate are big help to explain and show us what can be done. And where the rodent start

Jackie Lee

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Jay Smith

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Fyza Hashim

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Anna I Peña

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Kevin Harris

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C. R. V.

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George Dragonir

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Is pest control the landlords responsibility

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Home > Blog >  Is pest control the landlords responsibility

Picture this — you just rented a house or apartment and are excited to get settled into a new space. Soon after you move in, you walk into the kitchen and notice a cockroach hanging out in the middle of the floor!

What should you do? Do you call your landlord and ask them to take care of the problem? Do you try and handle it yourself?

If you’re unsure who’s responsible for pest control, the tenant or landlord, you’re in the right place. Discover the answers below.   

Who is responsible for pest control?

In most states, including Texas, pest control is the landlord’s responsibility.

When someone purchases a property and rents it out to tenants, the law states that the property owner is responsible for maintaining livable conditions. Generally, “livable” means free from pests that carry diseases, can trigger health issues like allergies, or can cause structural damage to the building.

It’s important to note, though, that landlords are typically only responsible for dealing with pest issues that could cause problems for the average person. These pest issues might include rodents, cockroaches, venomous spiders, or termites.

Say a tenant has a compromised immune system and has problems with other, generally less problematic pests. If this is the case, it’s up to the tenant to make up the difference and deal with other pest issues that arise.  

Is pest control ever the tenant’s responsibility?

Landlords are responsible for providing tenants with safe and clean places to live. However, tenants are also responsible for keeping their homes or apartments clean and well-maintained.

If the tenant creates an environment inviting to pests, the landlord may determine that it’s up to them to get rid of them (and the law supports the landlord’s right to do this).

What does it mean for a landlord to create an environment that invites pests?

Let’s use a cockroach infestation as an example (after all, Houston has the highest number of roach infestations in the United States).

Cockroaches typically show up when an apartment unit or house isn’t kept clean. They’re drawn to things like grease, decaying organic matter (i.e., trash), pet litter boxes, and dirty diapers.

If a tenant fails to keep their space clean and consistently calls the landlord because they’re dealing with yet another cockroach infestation, the landlord may be in a position to say that the roaches are now the tenant’s problem.

In this situation, the landlord has done their part to keep the property roach-free. However, the tenant keeps inviting them back.

A quick caveat for landlords

At a certain point, a landlord can legally say that they’re done paying for pest control, and it’s up to the tenants to deal with the issue. However, for this to work, they must have a clause in the rental agreement that states this.

For example, you might state in the contract that you will pay for pest control treatments a certain number of times per year. If the tenants report issues more often than this, they’ll be responsible for covering the costs. 

What should tenants do if they notice signs of pests?

If a tenant notices signs of a pest infestation in the home or apartment, they should contact the landlord as soon as possible.

Taking pictures of the pests or the warning signs left behind (such as droppings or shells) can also help the landlord to understand what they’re dealing with. The landlord can then pass this information along to a pest control professional when they call them to come and eliminate the problem. 

Common signs of pest infestations

What kinds of signs should tenants be watching for? The following are some of the most well-known indicators that a property has a pest problem:

  • Dead insects: A large number of the same type of insect often indicates they’re living somewhere in the home/apartment.
  • Droppings/eggs: It’s easier to tell when you’re facing rodent droppings, but insect droppings are less familiar. They typically resemble tiny black or brown dots.
  • Evidence of nesting: Rodents often use materials like shredded paper to build nests in the walls, crawlspaces, or cabinets. 
  • Smells: Rodents often give off a musty or ammonia-like smell; roaches tend to emit a musty, sooty smell.
  • Sounds: You might hear rodents scurrying around in the walls or the attic.
  • Holes or gnaw marks: Holes in the walls or bite marks on cardboard boxes are often signs of a rodent problem.
  • Grease marks: Rodents often leave grease marks on the walls or floors because they tend to travel the same paths over and over again.

Tenants might also notice signs of pests outside of the house or apartment. For example, they might spot damaged plants or damaged patches of grass.  

How should a landlord respond to tenant reports?

Landlords should remember that happy tenants are better renters. If a tenant reports a pest issue, the landlord should take immediate action and contact a professional.

Some landlords might be tempted to try and handle the pest problem themselves. However, it’s often more cost-effective and efficient to let the professionals deal with the situation. 

Professionals know where to look for pests and will ensure the property is totally pest-free, reducing the likelihood of future issues.

How soon should the landlord call a professional?

Ideally, the landlord will contact a professional within 24-48 hours after the tenant contacts them. 

If they wait too long, the tenant might have grounds to break their lease or withhold rent because the landlord isn’t upholding their end of the bargain (maintaining a clean, livable property).

A note about apartment complex pest issues

If the landlord owns an apartment complex with several rental units, they should assess the entire building for pest problems.

If one tenant is dealing with cockroaches or rodents in their apartment, it’s likely that others will have the same problem (either now or in the near future). It’s better to deal with the whole building at once rather than waiting for each tenant to report a pest issue.

How can landlords and tenants prevent pest infestations?

Landlords and tenants can work together to prevent pest infestations and keep properties clean, sanctuary, and pest-free. Below are some essential steps both parties can start taking today.

Tips for landlords 

Landlords should do the following to keep pests away from their investment properties.

Schedule regular inspections

Landlords should schedule regular inspections of their properties. Take a tour of the apartment complex and walk through each unit, or visit a rental home to ensure there are no signs of pests. 

They should let their tenants know in advance that they’ll be coming to take a look. That way, they won’t be caught off guard when the landlord arrives. 

Provide pest prevention education

Not everyone knows what causes pest infestations or what they can do to keep pests away. Landlords should provide information to new tenants about their responsibilities and offer helpful tips on preventing pests (such as those listed in the following section).

Invest in ongoing maintenance

Regular pest control treatments will help to prevent future pest infestations.

Ongoing maintenance and preventative care are typically less expensive and easier to manage than waiting until a severe infestation arises. They also help the landlord cover their bases and feel confident that they are doing their part to keep properties clean and well-maintained.

Tips for tenants

Tenants can also keep properties pest free by taking these actions.

Prevent access to food and trash

If pests have easy access to food or trash, they’ll be more likely to find ways into a home or apartment unit. Tenants can reduce the chances of this issue by keeping all food in tightly sealed containers, sweeping and vacuuming the floors regularly to pick up crumbs, using trash cans with lids, and taking the trash out regularly.

Eliminate clutter

Stacks of boxes or piles of clothing can serve as hiding places for pests and rodents. In a generally cluttered apartment or house, pests of all kinds have more places to set up shop — and it will take longer for the tenant to notice they’re present.

Report signs right away

Tenants should report signs of pests as soon as possible. The longer they wait, the more time the pests have to proliferate, creating a more serious (and more expensive) problem.

Invest in professional pest control today

In most cases, pest control is the landlord’s responsibility. There are some exceptions to this rule, though, especially if the tenant consistently creates an environment that invites pests into the home or apartment.  

If you need to deal with a pest problem, Natran Green Pest Control has got your back. We offer highly effective, botanically based pest control treatments that eliminate pests without putting tenants, pests, or the planet at risk.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an inspection.

Schedule a Free Inspection With Natran Today.

Fast, effective results for your pest problems.
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