Tenant called about a snake

15 Replies

One of my tenants called today and said there was a copperhead snake near the storage building in the backyard.  My lease clearly states that pest removal is the tenant's responsibility.  I always try and do the right things for my tenants but wildlife removal companies charge quite a bit of money for their services and most likely by the time they get out to the house the snake will be gone and even if it is not and they remove it there is a good possibility another could show back up.  My question is what is the liability if someone got bit, yes I know people can sue you for any reason but I was just wondering if any of you have through this before.

I'm not a lawyer but I imagine if they called and you sent out a pet removal service that would look better if they got bit. 

However they may also view that as you taking responsibility. I worked for a company that wouldn't remove any snow from the parking lot because their lawyer told them they were better off letting it be "mother nature" vs them messing with it.

Medium head icon colorRyan Dossey, Call Porter | http://Callporter.com | IN Agent # RB15001099

While pest control may be the responsibility of the tenant, I would certainly want to do everything I could to help my tenant deal with something as potentially serious as a venomous snake.  Does your city/county have an animal control department?  If so, in some jurisdictions they will come out and remove the snake for you at no charge.  If they won't, they may still be a good resource and be able to directly you to someone who can. 

That's why leases are in writing. Your responsibilities are clearly spelled out. So are the tenant's. If pest control is tenant's responsibility, then it's the tenant's responsibility. Sometimes we have to train our tenants to handle things that are their responsibility.

Michael Hayworth, Home Front DFW Remodeling | 817‑697‑5021 | http://www.HomeFrontDFW.com

Copperhead? How cool is that? I would want to go deal with it myself, probably catch and release. After that we're going to make sure that the storage shed is on a solid foundation and that the space under the shed is not attractive or accessible to critters so that we don't have a recurrence of the same problem.

Go over the lease with them again and then be a good guy and offer to split the cost. Then you'll know how serious they are about it.

Just my .02

Inform tenant pest removal is tenant responsibility, per lease. Give numbers to removal places

Is a snake in the yard considered part of pest control? I consider it wildlife. 

My lease says that we are not responsible for wildlife wandering into the yard. It's no different than if a bear walks into the yard. (It happens here.) It's not my responsibility to remove a bear, or a snake.

I would tell them to call the county animal control to deal with it.

Pest removal is generally associated with bugs, roaches, ants, mice, etc... that are a result of poor cleaning habits.  That is the responsibility of a tenant.  I wouldn't categorize a snake, stray dog, alligator or "a bear escaped from the zoo" as being a tenants responsibility.  This is one of those things you should address yourself while making sure the tenant has not created an attraction for such creatures. 

Curtis Bidwell MBA, Philia Holding Co LLC | http://www.PhiliaHC.com | Podcast Guest on Show #95

The tenant must have some knowledge of wildlife to know that it was a copperhead snake .  Now there are also bees , birds , mice , turtles , deer etc that may come on the property . I would tell the tenant that is something they call animal control about .

My wife took a picture of a snake at one of our rentals and texted it to me. It was a coral snake. Pretty cool..but deadly. Then, a few days later, she calls and tells me there is a "cobra" in our garage. I go home and find it is a corn snake:) I took a broom and pushed it out of the garage. We just had an article in the paper about a motorist running over a large alligator in Naples. Stuff happens! There isn't anything you can do to keep wildlife from entering your property. Be nice, and explain to the tenant that the snake will probably be long gone before anyone could come deal with it. As long as these critters are outside of the residence I am fine with it:)

No company avatar mediumJohn Thedford, John Thedford | 239‑200‑5600 | http://www.capehomebuyers.com | FL Agent # BK3098153

I had a tenant call us once to tell us about a "possum butt" sticking out of the bush outside of her apartment. Had to see it for myself and took on the duty of removing it. Sure enough, the possum had died right there with his butt hanging out. Grabbed it by the tail and consulted with animal control about where to dispose of it. In the tenant's eyes, I became a hero. Good for tenant loyalty.... she's been our tenant for 26 years and counting. Take care of the snake...     You too can become a Super Hero!

Marcia Maynard, Fischer Properties | Podcast Guest on Show #83

Originally posted by @Marcia Maynard :

I had a tenant call us once to tell us about a "possum butt" sticking out of the bush outside of her apartment. Had to see it for myself and took on the duty of removing it. Sure enough, the possum had died right there with his butt hanging out. Grabbed it by the tail and consulted with animal control about where to dispose of it. In the tenant's eyes, I became a hero. Good for tenant loyalty.... she's been our tenant for 26 years and counting. Take care of the snake...     You too can become a Super Hero!

 You are the real MVP Marcia. 

I think you should recheck your lease papers to confirm the pest control responsibility to be whom. If not so written then be a good and wise person split the money with tenants and call for pest control services.

Hey bill before you waste your time with all of that, contact your local animal control.  They will probably take care of it for you for free.