My tenants have recently emailed me about mice. How much of this is my problem. I have rented before and when we had mice, we put out sticky traps. The property is in Chicago and mice come in door in all properties EVERY fall. What is fair to expect from their demands? I'm happy to bring over sticky traps and try to plug holes with steel wool...but I'm not going by everyday to pick up a dead mouse or two.
If you don't want to have to deal with going over to take care of mice everytime a tenant has a problem I would recommend that you put something in the lease stating that the tenants are responsible for pests within the property. Unless there is something you can do to keep them from coming inside I would have them take care of it. Is this a single family, duplex or is this an apartment complex? If it's an apartment maybe you could put out the traps in hidden common areas to take care of the mice.
Also read this forum thread
@Meghan McCallum In Chicago if you he 2 unit building or larger pest control falls on the owner or with a property occupied by a CHA tenant even if SFH. We generally service a single family property prior to a tenant moving in and out it back on them but if there is access points where pests are accessing inside(generally the case) we will address those access points and drop off some traps.
@Meghan McCallum It is best to address in the lease early to avoid the grey areas you experience now because you are forced to side on the front of customer service at this point.
i have problems with mice every year at this time too.
i recommend finding an exterminator who is not just going to bait the building, but is also going to go through and repair any holes that they are using to get in. it costs more (i usually pay about $250), but it is well worth it because i get a guarantee for 6 months against any further issues and can tell the tenant if they see any more mice they can call my exterminator directly. the tenants love it.
remember that we are in a customer service business. it is easy to say, "that's your responsibility", but if your tenant is going to move because of the issue, it's worth it to solve the problem.
most exterminators just want to come out, bait, put some traps out, and keep charging you every time they come out. the good ones know how to solve the problem.
Mice is a big problem first make sure all cracks and holes in foundation are sealed. But, what I use to send them packing in the fall is Repels- All. It is basically coyote extract. If they are in an apartment I put just a few drops in the kitchen or where they have seen them. After that I spray a little in the basement. and around the garage doors. It's stinks for about a day, but after that I do not get a call about mice until next season.
I had a similar issue at a condo I rent out. I initially hoped the association would take care of the problem since the unit was on the top floor and the mice were coming up from the basement. Long story short I decided to pay an exterminator to take liability off of me. I feared the tenant's child could get into the poison or traps and figured by hiring a contractor he assumed some responsibility. It wasn't expensive and seemed effective.
Mice control is really a hectic task. If you want permanent mice extermination from your home, you can check with some good pest control company of your city. The professional mouse exterminators have specialized techniques for keeping the mice away from your home for a long time.