I'm rethinking my policy on pest control

2 Replies

My lease is explicit that any type of pest control is the responsibility of the tenant. However, in the last couple of years, I've had tenants arrange their own pest control when they've had an issue (one time it was roaches, another time it was rats), and it's been disastrous. Pest control appears to be one of the scammiest areas of professional services I have ever seen. Basically, the tenants just pick up the phone and call the first joker they find (or, even worse, one of the companies with big yellowbook or internet pages). These guys come out and promptly convince the tenants that the house is infested and it will costs tons of many to fix, if it can be fixed at all. They get freaked out and are convinced it's unsafe to live in the home. I then have to have my legitimate pest guy come out look at the issue and explain to them nothing is wrong or that it's very easy to fix. (I've even picked up the tab both times, which was pretty minimal). I'm pretty sure the tenants with the rats will not be renewing because they think they have an insurmountable problem or something. Anyone else run into this problem? I'm thinking about requiring in my lease that they use my pest guy. Anyone do this?

I'm kind of torn on the issue because I think there are lots of variables. Roaches when you move in, that's my problem. Roaches after you've been there 6 months, that's something the tenant caused. You could have a problem with rats for any number of reasons.

As an aside, for my one multi-family, I once had an issue with bedbugs (New tenants brought them with them). I did not even let the tenants deal with that. I found my own guy and paid him to fix the problem.

My tenants are responsible for their pest control, but are required to use my guy. Of course, there are exceptions. Just last week, a bunch of termites hatched at one of my places and we took care of it. I've also had to have a beehive removed. Also didn't charge the tenants for that.

Here in Florida pest control is a serious issue. There are just so many types of pest that can be a problem. For that reason I take care of pest control. Each of my places has a termite bond and is sprayed quarterly. I pay for anything else that needs to be done.

In colder climates it may be OK to let the tenant take it over. But in the subtopics there are just so many critters that can cause an expensive issue. I don't want an issue because a tenant couldn't afford to take care of it this month.

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