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Who Is Responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property?


January 15, 2019

Written by:

Abhi Sreerama

When pests attack Houston rental properties, there is only question on everyone’s mind. Who is responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property? Do you, the landlord, take the blame? Or does the tenant? The simple answer is: it depends. Unfortunately, this question is not always easy to answer. Sometimes the tenant is found to be responsible for the infestation and sometimes you are.

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When You Are Responsible

Most of the time, you are responsible for the pests and their removal. It is your responsibility as landlord to ensure that the property is in a habitable condition. Since pests carry diseases that can make your tenants sick, if they are found on the property, it is no longer considered habitable. Therefore, you are legally obligated to take care of the pest problem and return the rental property to a habitable state.

When the Tenant Is Responsible

Occasionally responsibility does not fall to you. It falls instead to the tenant. This is only the case if you can prove in court that the tenant was responsible for the pest infestation. You can imagine why that might be difficult to prove. That is why in most scenarios, you are responsible for whatever pest problem inflicts your rental property.

What Can You Do About It?

If pests are found in your rental property, it is probably too late to start preparing a case against your tenant. You can go that route anyway, many have, and some have been successful. The preferable option is being proactive. Start preventing pests before they become a problem. Rather than ignoring the small maintenance issues that could snowball into a huge pest infestation, take care of them right away. Seal up any holes or gaps around the windows or doors. If there are any holes in the siding, take care of them right away. If a bug or animal smells food inside of the house and finds an access point, the pest problem has already begun.

Your tenant has to do their part to prevent pest infestations as well, but you have to give them the tools to do that. First of all, tell them to report maintenance issues that could lead to an infestation. Perhaps more importantly, educate them on what they can do to help your pest prevention efforts. The most important thing to tell them is to properly clean up and store food. If food is properly put away, pests will not smell it and make a gargantuan effort to infiltrate the rental property. You can even include proper food storage in the lease agreement as an added way to ensure tenants do their part in preventing pests.

Keyrenter Can Help

With so many responsibilities associated with rental property management, adding a pest infestation on top of that can be overwhelming. If you need help with daily management tasks while you handle the pest situation, Keyrenter Houston can take over. We will make sure that everything else is business as usual while you handle the one thing that isn’t. Give us a call today to find out how we can help.


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