Whether you’ve discovered mice in your pantry or have heard about an outbreak of bedbugs in your area, you might be wondering who is responsible for pest control in a rental property. Find out whether you or your landlord are responsible for pest control and what you should do about the problem. Apartment pest control:
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Apartment Living, Hearst
Whether you’ve discovered mice in your pantry or have heard about an outbreak of bedbugs in your area, you might be wondering who is responsible for pest control in a rental property. Find out whether you or your landlord are responsible for pest control and what you should do about the problem.
Apartment pest control: What to know
Let’s cover a few basics to start: Who is responsible for pest control in a rental property?
First, check your lease agreement. If your lease has an explicit clause about pest control, that clause will take precedence over state or local laws. If your lease doesn’t have a pest control clause, you’ll need to resort to your state or local laws and regulations. Although state laws vary, some general rules apply for pest control for rental property units.
What is your landlord responsible for?
When it comes to rental property, pest control responsibility is the responsibility of the landlord, who must offer and maintain a pest-free property. Your landlord should have inspected the property before renting it to you, removing any infestations and dealing with any structural problems that could let in pests, such as torn window screens, cracks in walls, or cracked seals in doors.
What is a renter responsible for?
As a renter, you’re responsible for infestations that arise as a result of your actions. For example, these situations can include mice attracted by uncleanliness, bedbugs that came with your furniture or clothing, or fleas from your pets. If your landlord can prove that you’re responsible for the infestation, you may also be responsible for getting rid of the pests.
What should I do to prevent pests in my apartment before moving in?
As a renter, before you move into a new place, take a few steps to ensure you don’t have any pests and determine who has responsibility for any potential infestations.
Before you sign your lease, read the lease to learn about pest-control responsibilities. Before you move in, you’ll want to conduct your own inspection to ensure that the property is free from pests or ask your landlord to conduct an inspection. If you notice any structural damage that could let pests in, report it to your landlord as soon as possible.
Preventing pests in your apartment after you move in
As a renter, you should take some housekeeping measures to keep your apartment clean and free from pests. Good hygiene habits are key, so make sure to keep your kitchen area clean. This cleaning routine should include wiping down your countertops after cooking or eating, washing and putting away dishes and pans after every use, wiping down appliances, clearing out the toaster crumb tray, and thoroughly vacuuming, mopping, or sweeping the floor to keep crumbs away. Make sure your kitchen trash can has a tight-fitting lid, and take your trash out frequently. Do a yearly spring cleaning in your home to make sure everything is deep-cleaned, as well.
Clutter around your apartment can provide space for pests. Discard any unneeded cardboard boxes and other trash. Do not place anything under a sofa or bed unless you store it in a secure plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
Moisture can also be a problem; check for moisture issues periodically and alert your landlord if you discover any. This inspection includes checking seals around windows and doors to determine whether moisture is leaking inside, correcting leaky faucets, and checking for leaking or “sweating” pipes.
Finally, periodically check your place for spaces that pests can enter through, such as cracks around cabinets, pipes, baseboards, and utility cables. Let your landlord know if you notice any of these types of cracks or pest damage signs, such as gnawed holes in food product bags or boxes or animal feces. In the meantime, you can seal potential entry points with materials such as sheet metal, copper mesh, caulk, or foam.
What are the most common pests in apartments?
Ants: Ants are one of the most common pests in apartments and urban living spaces. Ants are attracted to spilled food or crumbs, particularly sweet foods. You may discover them in the pantry, on kitchen counters, or in your garbage can.Cockroaches: Cockroaches are classic apartment insects. They thrive in cities and tend to enter apartments looking for water and food. It is not uncommon to discover cockroaches in spaces like bathrooms and kitchens where water is easily accessible.Rodents: Rodents favor cabinets, as well as spaces under furniture and behind refrigerators. They can chew through tough material, including plastic bags and cardboard boxes, and destroy wiring in addition to contaminating food. Rodents can move through walls to enter different units, making them especially challenging to eradicate in apartment or condo buildings.Indianmeal moths: You may not have heard about them, but Indian meal moths can be a menace. They are small flying insects that most commonly affect stored food products and can contaminate stored food such as flour and cereal by laying their larvae inside the items. Indian meal moths can hide in tiny spaces and are difficult to eradicate.Fleas: If you have pets at home, they can bring fleas into your home that in turn infest mattresses, furniture, or bedding. If you have a cat or dog, make sure that you stay on top of its flea prevention medication (ask your vet for more information). Even if you don’t have a pet, a former tenant with a dog or cat could leave fleas behind in the space, or fleas can come into a home on vintage furniture that has pet dander attached to it.Bedbugs: Bedbugs can be extremely difficult to get rid of, especially in an apartment setting. If you have a bedbug infestation, they could be leftover from the previous renters. Bedbugs also don’t go away on their own, and if left untreated, they can become a problem in your apartment rental. The cost of treating bedbugs can also be costly.
How to submit a pest control request
If you notice pests in your apartment, you should follow these steps:
Notify your property manager
It’s important to notify the property manager of the pest infestation as soon as possible. This gives them time to investigate and take care of it before it becomes an even bigger problem.
Check your lease agreement
Checking your lease agreement can provide you with information on who’s responsible for pest removal services.
Identify the cause
Identifying the cause can prevent more bugs from entering your apartment until you’re able to get rid of them. This might include closing the windows or sealing a crack.
Follow up with your property manager
Follow up with your property manager to find out what they plan on doing with the pest infestation.
FAQs: Apartment pest control
First, follow up. Landlords and property managers are often responsible for multiple units and your request could have gotten lost in the shuffle. If you’ve made repeated attempts to contact your landlord about the issue, you will want to research your local and state laws to determine the best course of action.
While you are entitled to a clean and habitable environment, you should always consult a legal professional before you take actions that could violate your lease agreement, such as withholding rent.
Yes, there are laws for pest control and prevention in most states. You’ll want to research your state and county laws to learn the regulations in your area and determine the best course of action for your situation.
When you move into a new apartment, make sure you’re clear about who is responsible for pest control in the rental property by consulting your lease and local rules and regulations. Make sure to keep your space clean and notify your landlord about any signs of a pest infestation ASAP.