Chronic bugs: Whose fault - tenant, neighbor, unit, exterminator?

4 Replies

Hi all,

I have a duplex with recurring pest (roaches, mice) issues. When I bought the building both units were rented, but one of the tenants complained of mice and bugs and asked to be released from the lease, which I allowed.

Since then the new tenant in that unit has complained several times about pests, and the property manager has ordered 3 treatments in 5 months. Incidentally, the tenant who's been in the other unit the whole time has never complained of bugs, but this tenant does live in filth.

So my question is, whose fault is it? Is it that:

  • a) Both of the tenants in the one unit with complaints have each fostered bugs in their place
  • b) The holdover tenant in the other unit (who hasn't complained, but lives in filth) is impacting the whole building
  • c) It's something specific in the unit, maybe requiring a deep, deep clean
  • d) The exterminator company's treatments are ineffective

I'm leaning towards (b) but would love to hear the community's thoughts.

- Harman

Hi Harman

Does it say anything in the lease? Mine says if insects are inside the first 30 days, its on the landlord, after that on the renter.

Outside of who pays for it...sounds gross...fix it up.  It will be better for everyone

Question:  Have you given the tenant "who lives in filth" a notice to either clean it up or move?  It sounds like your pest issues are not going to stop until that tenant is no longer there.  THEN get the pest control people in to spray that unit....did the pest control people spray that particular unit as well?  

Originally posted by @Joe M. :

Hi Harman

Does it say anything in the lease?  Mine says if insects are inside the first 30 days, its on the landlord, after that on the renter.

Outside of who pays for it...sounds gross...fix it up.  It will be better for everyone

Thanks for the suggestion Joe, that didn't even occur to me. The lease does say tenants are responsible after 30 days. I'll talk to the property manager about it!

 

Originally posted by @Joyce Tavares :

Question:  Have you given the tenant "who lives in filth" a notice to either clean it up or move?  It sounds like your pest issues are not going to stop until that tenant is no longer there.  THEN get the pest control people in to spray that unit....did the pest control people spray that particular unit as well?  

No, the pest control people have only treated the complaining unit but not the other one. The "lives in filth" tenants lease is up (and was quite a bit below market too), so I think it might be time to turn that unit.