As a landlord, it is oftentimes difficult to control your tenant’s habits. This is even more true when certain living styles and conditions lead to pesky pests and not-so-cuddly critters. A frustrated landlord can easily dissertate to their renters the need for setting traps, removing garbage in a timely fashion, etc. But unless you plan to keep a daily, watchful eye, pest removal becomes the responsibility of the property owner.
Begin by first calling around to local pest and vermin removal specialists. Find one that services your area and has a long standing reputation. (Also, checking with the better business bureau never hurts.) Respect your tenants lifestyle by asking your exterminator if their will be any harmful side effects to your tenant’s pets or if your tenant will be displaced overnight. These are all important questions to ask, as they affect your tenant’s daily living, which if neglected could leave you open for a lawsuit. Health issues and chemicals may also be a problem for your tenant, so be sure to discuss any of these first.
Send a letter to your tenants advising them of the time and date to which the professional exterminator will be on premises. Request their presence at the appointment, not just for peace of mind while the exterminator is inside the residence, but so that the professional can also point out anything that is contributing to the problem. It is important that as a landlord you are also present for this meeting. In your letter explain that you are taking care of the bill for the expense, but further appointments could be of cost to them if the problem is not handled. Remind them that you are in this as a team, and that neither one of you want the issue of pests.
If the initial spraying of pests and trapping of critters does not help, but your tenant has corrected any issues at hand, more extensive measures may be necessary. As a landlord, you would be responsible for these measures. The best way for you to think of this as, you are keeping your property inhabitable. Would you personally want to live in a place that has a bug problem or is infested with rats? Of course not! And neither would your tenants. So, by spending the extra expense on getting rid of pests permanently, you are keeping your monthly rent check coming in.
The most important thing to remember as a landlord is that you and your tenant are a team. Together you can eliminate pest and critter problems with just a bit of compromise and expense, keeping both of you happy for the duration of your lease.