The idea that you are about to rent a property can be a daunting task. Especially, if the home is a known rental property. This means, that many other people have rented the home as well. There are many questions that you should ask before signing a lease to rent that property.
One of those is, who is responsible for pest control when renting? This is a very common question and the lease should lay out the details as to the renters vs landlords’ responsibilities. It is also a good idea to look at the State Laws to protect the landlord and the renter. Both parties are responsible for dealing with pest infestations or pest control depending on what has occurred at the home.
Let’s take a look at the state Law as well as what the landlords’ or the renters’ responsibilities might be.
What Is The Owners Responsibility For Pest Control
The landlord’s job is to ensure that the home is up to state law as habitable. If a pest issue is reported to the landlord, it is his/her responsibility to check out the issue and determine what treatment is necessary. Your landlord may attempt a cheaper route by completing a do-it-yourself pest control option. However, most states might demand using a professional pest control service.
As a landlord, you are responsible for some aspects of the pest prevention process. It is highly recommended to conduct seasonal pest control service in the rental home. Some of the state laws will require that landlords educate and consult their tenants on pest prevention. Educating everyone involved is the best recipe for a successful rental. Let’s look at a list of the basic landlord requirements:
- Conduct a thorough inspection of the property and deal with any pest problems before a new tenant moving into the property.
- Making sure that cracks in walls, broken seals, openings in doors or windows, torn screens, and other items that could allow insects to enter the home are fixed.
- Arrange for seasonal pest control and handle emergencies as they are reported.
- Landlords are responsible to cover the costs of the pest control services. However, if the renter is found responsible for the infestation, then the cost is deferred to the renter.
What Is The Tenants Responsibility For Pest Control
If you believe that the landlord is the only one responsible for pest control when renting out a property then you are mistaken. It is the renters’ job to make sure they are not bringing pests into the rental property. In addition, they are to ensure that pests do not exist in the rental property.
Following the basic rules of cleanliness and hygiene will ensure that your rental property stays free and clear of any insects or pest infestations. If you have visitors to the rental property, make sure that they are not bringing in outside insects or pests. Most importantly, making sure that bed bugs are not brought into the rental property and causing an infestation.
The rule for reporting this to your landlord is very important. However, make sure that reporting on yourself does not cause you to have an expensive pest control bill. If these issues happen, you should refer to your lease agreement with the landlord. Keep in mind that the renter is responsible for the following areas of pest control when renting a property:
- The inability to maintain proper sanitary conditions. Some examples are, leaving food uncovered in the kitchen or pantry, failure to cover garbage bins, or not disposing of the garbage according to the waste collection rules of the community.
- Creating an environment conducive for the manifestation of pests. This includes leaving stagnant water on the property.
- Flea infestation as a result of the renters’ pet.
Check Your Lease
If you haven’t already been told, you should never sign a lease without reviewing it first. Read it carefully and seek out the consultation of a lawyer or real estate agent. You will also want to ask questions of the landlord for clarification and to be on the same page with rental specifics.
Never rely on a verbal agreement when renting. Always get it in writing. That way you are both protected by the state laws. Ensure that you as the renter are aware of your rental responsibilities towards pest control as well as any liabilities should a pest infestation occur. Keep in mind that your lease agreement will not override State Law. Florida has written pest control laws that are meant to protect the landlord and the renter.
State Law Regarding Who Is Responsible
Florida law regarding pest control responsibility says there is a clear law on pest control responsibility. According to this law, the list of landlord responsibilities includes the extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. If an infestation occurs, the landlord is not liable for damages, however, will abate the rent.
This means that you will not be required to pay for rent in a building or home that you cannot live in. The landlord does not have the right to collect rent at that time, however, they also do not have to pay for an alternative living arrangement while the infestation is being taken care of.
Other states will find the law for their state by looking for info about Landlord and Tenant Agreements such as this one for Georgia.
Breaking The Lease
If the lease terms side with the renter, then you should be able to break the lease without any major financial consequences. When the landlord goes back on his/her responsibilities as state law requires, they will make sure to take care of any issues that arise from pests.
You should always attempt to solve issues with the landlord first. You may also file a complaint with the state or city health department. This will allow the process to serve your landlord with a violation letter, after the inspection. Breaking a lease will typically involve giving your landlord written notice. Depending on state laws, you might have to wait a specified amount of time before breaking the lease.
How Much Will This Cost
The cost of pest control or taking care of a pest infestation can vary by state. The national average is anywhere from $108 to $260 for a one-time visit. Often though, most people will have monthly or bi-monthly visits.
Let’s take a look at who is responsible for the pest control:
Other Maintenance Ideas
While the inspection team is looking over the rental property for any pests or infestations, it is also a great idea to have them determine if there are any leaks inside the walls of the property. Wall leaks will always contribute to an increased amount of insects in the home if they are not discovered promptly.
At the same time that you are checking the interior of your home for infestations, it is also important to explore the outside of your home. Any cracks in the stucco or shingles are areas where insects can access your home. Checking to make sure that everything is sealed and damaged shingles are replaced is a great way to protect your home.
Another great area to ensure is taken care of is the inside and outside of the rental property. Making sure that a professional pest control inspection is completed is vital to your investment protection. So, understanding how to look for a possible infestation is important. Always be sure to provide your rental property with the same care you would provide it if you were living there yourself.
When Should I Call A Professional
The moment that you prepare your home or townhome for rental, you will want to contact a professional pest control expert. You should provide preventative pest control for rodents and termites in addition to a regular pest control service. This will protect your investment and keep your renters happy. Year-round pest control is always the best way to keep your investment in top condition.
Due to Florida’s humidity and constant weather changes, insects and infestations can become a problem. For a renter or a landlord, it is an equal problem. No one wants to have insect or infestation issues while they are renting a home. In addition, no landlord wants the headache of contracting out services to assist with those issues.
It is a great idea as a landlord to have a yearly pest inspection conducted as well as protect your investment with a monthly pest control service. Honor services is your best bet for pest control and home inspections in Brevard County, Florida.