13 Aug Pest Control
Who Is Responsible Landlord or Tenant?
One of the most common causes of conflict between landlords and tenants is who is responsible for pest control. That’s because, the answer to that question is, it depends. Landlords must provide tenants with a safe and livable rental home. This means that a landlord is responsible for pest control and keeping infestations away. But, there are situations where a tenants living behaviors can lead to an infestation. However, this type of scenario should be factored into the lease agreement.
On one hand, since landlords are legally responsible for providing tenants with safe and livable home (implied warranty of habitability) pests can become an issue of habitability. On the other hand, if a tenant’s actions are responsible for a pest infestation that renders the property uninhabitable, the tenant is deemed responsible for pest control (California Civil Code Section 1941.2). When it comes to managing a rental property, a pest infestation can become more than a mild inconvenience. For this reason, we offer a little insight on this issue.
Pest problems are bothersome to tenants. Not only can they cause health problems, they can also make your rental property uninhabitable. While some areas will attract certain pests more than others, it’s important to take a proactive approach to pest control. This means taking advanced precautions to prevent pests from entering your rental home by making it less attractive to them. To avoid attracting pests like cockroaches, bed bugs, rodents, spiders, termites, fleas, ticks, ants, or silverfish follow these proactive pest management tips:
Covered This in the Pest Control Addendum (Lease Agreement)
- Store Food Securely (Tenant): avoid leaving food in the open
- Get Rid of Standing Water (Landlord/Tenant): after it rains inside and/or outside
- Buy Trash Cans with Secure Lids (Landlord)
- Dispose of Trash Keep Lids Closed Tightly (Tenant)
- Repair Holes, Cracks, & Other Entry Points (Landlord)
- Repair Damaged Pipes and Leaks (Landlord/Tenant): tenant should report problems
- Keep Home Clean & Tidy (Tenant)
- Regularly Groom Pets (Tenant): to prevent fleas and ticks
- Regularly Inspect Property (Landlord)
Landlords are responsible for keeping their rental property in a fit and habitable condition, which includes preventing pest infestations. And, landlords are required by law to maintain a habitable, pest-free rental. For this reason, the best strategy is to take a proactive approach to prevent and handle pests. Remember, the best time for pest control is before you see them.
When the cause of the pest infestation can be traced to the actions or inactions of a tenant, then it becomes their responsibility. For example, if a tenant fails to keep the environment clean, it is only normal to expect an infestation of pests. Additionally, failing to take the garbage out, or leaving food out, can attract also pests. Tenants are in the rental property day-to-day so educating them can help you avoid pests. So, encourage them to:
- Throw out their trash regularly
- Clean their rental regularly
- Notify you if there is standing water around the rental property
- Make sure to put away food in tightly sealed containers or in the refrigerator
- Make sure garbage cans have lids and remain closed
California law requires landlords to keep their rental properties in livable condition. Unless a tenant’s behavior leads to a pest infestation, the landlord is responsible for pest control. Remember, pest infestations can blow up pretty quickly, becoming harder to control the longer it takes to sort out the problem. By taking proactive measures such as regular inspections and maintenance, you can stop a problem before it starts. Don’t have time to be proactive? Of the most strategic ways to ensure property remains pest-free is having a professional property management company manage your rentals. Contact us today at (858) 576-2176 to learn more about our property management services.