As a result, most of the time, the owner has to pay the bill for the extermination of pests. If pests arise as a result of natural conditions, it is up to the owner to pay in almost all situations. The landlord is almost always responsible for general pest control on a property. Whether that means ensuring that the property is protected from common local pests or that the property is regularly treated against pests, these things fall within the scope of the owner's responsibilities.
Usually, homeowners are concerned with seasonal pest control and preventive maintenance. Tenants are responsible if they cause the infestation. The lease must require tenants to maintain their unit to avoid infestation. For example, the lease must require the tenant to keep their unit clean and prevent pets from causing a flea infestation.
To ensure that pest control is carried out, some landlords will take responsibility and include the cost of pest control in the lease. Others leave the responsibility in the hands of tenants. Whatever your choice, make sure you've described the liability in your lease agreement and that the tenant “approves” it. It is the landlord's responsibility to maintain a habitable property that is safe for tenants.
Continue reading below as we discover the potentially harmful effects of not addressing a pest control issue on your rental property. Landlords often claim that the tenant caused the insect infestation. It's likely that a tenant caused the problem. Proving who did it is often very difficult or simply impossible.
Landlords have a duty to keep rental units habitable. In some circumstances, a local health department may force the landlord to eradicate insects, especially when several adjoining rental units are infested. But if a single unit is infested and the tenant has lived there for a long time, it will be easier for the landlord to blame that tenant. Many landlords address pest control in the lease, especially when there are no state or municipal laws on the subject.
I'm going to call my landlord for pest control, but I've had problems with it before, so I'm not sure if I should withhold my rent until the problem is resolved. If you're an owner, you can call and schedule an appointment with a pest control service, and if you manage to fix the problem in time, you can cancel the appointment. In Virginia, managing rent pest control is a joint responsibility between landlord and tenants. Pest control isn't cheap, so the question of who is financially responsible can cause some tension on both sides.
The problem with pests is that, while many pose a health problem for tenants, they also damage the property itself. Pest control in rentals starts with understanding proper care and recognizing the telltale signs of vermin and pests. Despite a comprehensive rental agreement, the pest control section simply states that it is included in the property. Living with pests such as cockroaches is considered a health hazard because of the problems that pests can cause, and that means that cockroach problems must be treated right away.
I asked the owner if I could control my own pest control and use more natural products with another pest company.