Pest Control? Do you, don't you?

9 Replies

Do you pay for pest control?  I just purchased a mobile home park ( I own and rent out the mobiles, all tenants are inherited) and have now paid for pest control for 2 separate units that were having issues with roaches.  When I follow up with the pest control guy, he tells me their places are very cluttered and a perfect breeding ground for roaches etc.  After 3 sprayings on one unit, I sent a letter to the tenant to tell them because of their clutter, I will no longer pay for pest control as the pest company is telling me they cannot solve the situation when there is so much clutter.  I am about to send the same letter to the other tenant. 

I have since found out that other tenants on the park pay for their own monthly maintenance sprayings and have been doing this as a matter of choice since they moved in to make sure they don't get any issues in the first place.

I also have 3 SFH and 2 of those tenants (also inherited) have their properties sprayed on a monthly preventative basis.

I would be interested to hear how other landlords treat this issue and who's responsibility do you believe it falls upon.

I am considering adding a clause to my rental agreements stating that I would only be exterminating for any pests within the first 2 weeks of move-in. Any pests after that are the responsibility of the tenants. But I haven’t figured out how I will word it or the terms. 

Generally speaking, pest control is up to my tenants and I don't pay for it.  However, to me, it can sometimes be a gray area.  Usually, a pest problem is related to something the tenant is doing.  It is in my leases that they are responsible for that.  With that said, sometimes pests happen.  No matter how well someone is keeping house.

I recently sprayed both units for one of my duplexes for roaches.  Both sets of tenants are great tenants who keep clean and tidy houses.  In fact, neither set had even complained about the roaches.  My husband had been over there to meet our HVAC guy for servicing the units before summer.  He noticed the roaches and asked the tenants about them, who said they'd started seeing them when the weather had gotten warmer.  We took it upon ourselves to go ahead and schedule a spray when it was convenient for everyone.  We felt it was the right thing to do.  FTR, that's the only time I've ever felt the need to spray that house. 

For a different house, we got stuck doing a spray for roaches.  The tenant was on Section 8 and that was an item on the list for the annual inspection.  She doesn't keep a horrible house.  It's certainly not littered with old trash.  But there are 5 people who live there and recent trash/wrappers are often lying around.  I certainly wasn't happy about paying for something her family caused, but sometimes that's the b.s. of S8.  On the bright side, she's been my tenant for 3 years and I only had to do that once.

I have 6 doors, with the one I've owned the longest being 7 years.  Those are the only two times I ever hired a company for pests.   

I pay for quarterly sprays. Beyond that the tenant must pay. This applies if they request an additional spray or the bug guy tells me there is a problem in the unit. I do it to protect my investment because if a nasty tenant comes along it can spread to the rest of the building which I have had happen. 

@Cat R.

14. PEST CONTROL: Your rental unit has been inspected and deemed to be pest-free. If you have a special problem with pests, notify the Property Manager. You are asked to assist our pest control by maintaining a high standard of good housekeeping. If the sanitary conditions in your unit are such that it attracts pests of any kind, and it becomes necessary for us to undergo remediation in the building, you will be held financially responsible for reasonable costs thereof, paid as additional rent.

This is what I use.  If it is a minor issue I sometimes would just roach bait the unit and let the tenant know that technically this is on them, but I am providing this as a one-time customer service.  If it is a big problem, I would have an exterminator come in and then bill the tenant.

Either way, the pests need to be dealt with ASAP if it's a multi-family building.

Thank you all for your responses.  Thank you @Wesley W. for posting the wording from your lease.  Much appreciated.  This has given me lots to think about.

Thankfully all my units are separate so I don't have to worry about bugs going from one apartment to the other, which I know can be a big issue.

I spray twice a year anything more than that and I kindly let them know that it is on them.  I spray because infestations are difficult to get rid of and me spraying helps keep that cost down.  I also use that as a plug to say hey I am a nice guy please pay on time.   I really like what @Wesley W.  has in his contract and might implement, thanks!

As a Pro member there are many forms that you can download, including state specific forms and leases.  I just recently downloaded the lease they have, so I have not yet used it and I am still reviewing it to determine if I will, however it does have a clause in it for pests:

(F)     Pest control, after the first ten (10) days of the Term of this Lease, shall be the sole responsibility of the Tenant, including, without limitation, prevention and remediation. Tenant shall keep the Premises free of pests, including without limitation, rodents, fleas, bed bugs, ants, cockroaches, gnats, flies, and beetles. Tenant shall pay for all costs associated with remediating pests from the Premises and shall inform Landlord at first sighting of any pests in order to avoid any infestation of pests.  In signing this Lease, Tenant agrees that Tenant has examined the Premises and certifies that it has not observed any pests in the Premises