Landlords should not ignore the fact that every rental needs to be treated for insects. So the question remains: do you hire a professional or do you DIY pest control? If you’re serious about being a successful long term landlord, doing it yourself will clearly save a lot of money. In addition, professional pest control products have gotten easier and easier to acquire.
As people who watch the bottom line, landlords can save thousands of dollars across the years by adopting the DIY approach to pest control and handling infestations. Professional exterminators are expensive, and there are many excellent products available to property managers. For example, pesticide granules around the building perimeter can last much longer than sprays which may evaporate relatively quickly. Additionally, landlords are wise to leave exterminating supplies in each rental unit for tenant use.
If you are new to DIY pest control, a good place to start is educating yourself on common bugs, their characteristics, habitat, seasons, traces (evidence of being there) and life cycles. An excellent resource is: Domyown.com/pest-guides.
Who is Responsible for Pest Expenses?
Once a tenant has accepted the property as shown and signed the lease agreement, then they become responsible for the cleanliness of the property. Even the cleanest of houses will have bugs here and there, but storing food correctly, emptying trash, removing pet waste and cleaning surfaces, floors and the interior are the tenant’s obligation. The responsibility for pest control and treatment should be clearly spelled out in leasing paperwork and can also be covered in a pest control addendum.
Prevention is the best approach, but should ants come marching in or swarms of anything enter, they do so for food. Tenants must manage any infestation at the first sign of it. Supplies the landlord has left, along with instructions on how to properly apply, should be sufficient in handling the situation.
Bees and wasp nests, as well as termites, are often not caused by tenants and must be managed ASAP by a professional pest control service. Many pest control technicians can expertly evaluate a pest infestation scene and determine where, when and how the bugs took up residence. This may resolve whose responsibility this is and who should pay for the solution.
Bedbugs on the Rise
Bedbugs have been on the rise in recent years, and most states have regulations or laws regarding them. They often hijack a ride on luggage, clothes and backpacks. They can also creep in from an adjacent unit. Bedbugs can be extremely difficult to eradicate, and every landlord needs to know the state regulations in addition to including Pest Control – Bedbug Addendum from ezLandlordForms.com with every full lease. It might be tricky to ascertain who is responsible, and cleaning often involves disposing of soft furnishings like mattresses and recliners. Tenants who travel need to be especially wary of transporting bedbugs into their domicile.
Home improvement, feed and online stores carry a wide selection of great products, and gallon sprayers run under $20. It is not tricky to develop your own pest control maintenance program, including an interior, in-person visit to the property even quarterly. This gives you a visual inside and offers reassurance to your tenants that you are serious about protecting them and their belongings. It’s a win-win. Other very helpful websites include:
The best bug approach is being diligent about references and information gathered via ezLandlordForms.com’s tenant screening services options and having pest control in the maintenance budget, whether DIY or professional. This can include regularly-scheduled treatments, basic supplies and equipment and unforeseen incidents like termites from underground, yellow jacket nests in the grass or wasp homes under the eaves. Bugs may play a role in Mother Nature’s overall scheme, but they must be managed well to stay out in nature and not take up residence in rental properties.