Pest Control - To pay or not to pay??

7 Replies

Do you provide pest control or do you pass the expense along to your tenant? I've paid a few times to get rid of ants and it seems like there will need to be some ongoing treatments. What's your recommendation??

In most leases the tenant is responsible for pest control so it would depend on what your lease states. If the lease does not address the issue then I would recommend to have the tenant handle the cost. Typically ants are an issue that comes with tenants leaving food or other sweets out in the open so you shouldn't have to bear the cost for it.

I'd make the tenants pay to get rid of the ants. That's usually caused by tenants leaving food out, and they're typically pretty easy to get rid of without spending too much money.

@Jared Wild in my experience it's pretty difficult to determine who is responsible for a bug or pest issue, especially in South Carolina.It's also an emotional/hot button issue as literally no one wants to live in a place without ants, mice, etc. 

I think it's best for me to pay to have it done and focus on finding more deals. 

@Jared Wild if it's a single-family property I would definitely put the responsibility on the tenant. However, we have a multi-family property and, though the leases indicate that the pest control is the tenants' responsibility, we do have the property treated quarterly as a "courtesy" and for some level of consistency. With multi-family properties it's always more effective to have the entire property treated at the same time at least quarterly but if a tenant complains about pests between treatments I remind them that it is their responsibility as per their lease agreement.

@Jared Wild we have leases where is states tenants are responsible.

When Covid hit it became more and more difficult to get tenants to pay for rent let alone pest control. You can try to take it out of security but state laws differ on how you need to go about it.

Ultimately if it's a multifamily unit and the owner wants to stave off a bed bug inspection from spreading its in their best interest to treat and pay.

Same thing with other vermin, like anything in RE, no matter what the lease says, owners are ultimately responsible and will end up with the Bill of there are non conforming tenants. At the end of the day it’s in the owners best interest to always protect their asset.

Roaches and bed bugs are always paid by the tenant

Mice/rats...honestly depends. If trash is left outside and is not bagged up or if the house is dirty it's the tenants.

Ants, crickets, spiders...we have paid that in the past.

You need to have some compassion in this business.