As warmer temperatures begin to surface, pint-sized creatures swiftly seek shelter in cooler climates. And unfortunately, this could result in an infestation of your rental property. While you can eradicate the issue before prospective tenants occupy the premises, pests can resurface if the treatments aren’t recurring.
Because of the need for constant protection, many property managers and renters wonder who should cover the bill for pest control services? The answer is that both parties are responsible — the landlord must ensure the rental property is fit for human habitation and kept up to code and the tenant must keep the living space tidy to prevent an infestation, notes Pro Pacific Pest Control. The following tips are just a few of the ways owners and renters can work together to keep pests away:
Not All Creatures Are Created Equal
Unfortunately, some creatures cause much more damage than others. Here are a few that can wreak havoc on your property:
- Termites: Once termites discover the wood structures of your rental property, you’re in trouble. These insects feast on wood around the clock, and tenants may not be aware of an infestation until swarms begin to surface in the spring and a ton of damage has already been done. If you’re dealing with termites, a consistent approach is the best way to minimize serious property damage. Once you get rid of the infestation, you need to set up ongoing treatments to keep them away, claims PestWorld.org.
- Bed Bugs: These tiny pests feed only on blood and can live for a year without eating, so your tenants could have a long-term infestation and not even know it. Bed bugs can bite and leave welts or a rash on many people, explains Bed-Bugs.com.
- Rats and Mice: These small creatures should not be taken lightly. They have been known to spread diseases and present major safety hazards. Rats and mice use their sharp teeth to chew through brickwork, wiring and pipes, which is problematic for both the structure and plumbing of your property. And, should they decide to chew on the wires of your rental property, they could start a fire.
- Vermin: Like rats and mice, vermin take a liking to wires and pipes. Depending on the extent of the chewing, your rental property could burn to the ground as a result of an electrical fire. And, leaky pipes could lead to water damage or even flooding in severe cases.
Tenants Can Help
If an infestation makes the living space inhabitable, you run the risk of your tenants refusing to remit payment and relocating elsewhere until the pests are eradicated. In some instances, they may completely abandon their lease, leaving you with a shortage of rental income, structural damage and a hefty pest control bill.
However, tenants can be part of the solution instead of the problem. While you should hire a pest control company to cover long-term prevention, ForRent.com recommends that tenants take the following precautions:
- Maintain a tidy kitchen area, and store leftover cuisine in air-tight Tupperware
- Frequently inspect window sills to confirm they are free of cracks
- Dust frequently occupied and dormant areas on a consistent basis
- Move furniture around to reduce the chances of pests forming a colony
- Ensure screens, exhaust vents and chimneys are free of tears or other defects.
Have a great week! _Trevor