We often get asked are landlords responsible for pest control, and the answer is, it depends. In some states, including Texas, the landlord is responsible for creating a good living environment, and that means he or she must provide pest control.
However, it turns out that it’s a lot more gray than that. Some pests are brought in by tenants, and therefore, if you’re a landlord, you should question whether or not you should pay for it. So…who’s right? Who should really be paying for pest control? Keep reading to find out.
Apartment Pest Control
When it comes to an apartment complex, is your landlord responsible for pest control? In most cases, yes. Whenever a new tenant moves in, the landlord should show a written contract that explains which pests are covered and which pests are not covered in the lease. For most apartments, landlords are treating the outside of the apartment building every quarter. Then, they treat the inside of the apartment during that quarter when needed.
So, not every apartment will have indoor apartment pest control. If you’re a tenant and seeing ants, roaches, or something else, chances are, the pest control company will come out and spray the inside of that unit. However, if another tenant wants the inside of their unit sprayed, they will need to alert the property manager so that it can be done at the same time.
Apartment pest control is usually done on a quarterly basis, or whenever there is a bad infestation of a certain pest. Especially in apartments, whether or not the landlord is responsible gets a little gray. For the most part, your landlord will pay for the pest control. Usually though, if the same unit needs to be sprayed multiple times for recurring pests, the tenant will have to pay extra.
Is the tenant responsible for pest control?
One of the most common pests in apartments is cockroaches. Usually, cockroaches happen when a unit is left dirty. However, cockroaches are also a natural pest problem—especially in Texas. So, if a unit has cockroaches only once or twice while renting, it’s the landlord’s responsibility.
But, say you as the tenant have cockroaches constantly because you’re not keeping your unit clean. In that case, it’s you, then tenant that is responsible. They’ll often have a pest control fee they’ll need to pay for further treatment. However, the landlord must have this written up in their lease contract.
Who is Responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property?
If you have a home or townhome that you are renting out, the landlord is often responsible for pest control. This is because landlords need to provide a habitable home for tenants to live in. Anything that will cause structural damage or damage to the tenants will need to be treated for.
However, the law says that this is for ordinary tenants. If you have a tenant that is ill or has a lower immune system, you do not need to provide additional pest control for them. You are simply treating for what an ordinary tenant would need treatment from. This includes:
Are Tenants or Landlords Responsible for Bed Bugs?
The big debate in the rental space is whether tenants or landlords are responsible for bed bugs. The answer is pretty in line with what it is for cockroaches. A lot of the time, bed bugs and cockroaches are caused by the tenant. But at the same time, bed bugs and cockroaches are also becoming natural bugs that are occurring more often. So, who’s responsible? Both the tenant and landlord are responsible for bed bugs.
If you’re in an apartment and have bed bugs, you probably won’t have a very hard time with a landlord paying. But if a tenant is in a home with bed bugs, the answer is a lot harder. Bed bugs could spread between apartments, so it is usually a landlord problem. In a home, that doesn’t happen as often.
When you’re the landlord of a home, you don’t have to provide pest control for the bed bugs if the infestation was created because of the tenant. However, proving that can be difficult. That’s why you must always have clear lease pest control responsibilities laid out so that you don’t have any issues.
Creating an Error-Free Pest Control Lease Section
When you’re a landlord, you must create a section of the lease that talks about pest control. In this lease, you’ll need to write down the pests that you will take care of and the pests that the tenant are responsible for. You must comply with the laws of your state to create a habitable environment for the tenant to live in. This means you’ll need to take care of common pest problems in your area.
Then, you need to have pests that the tenant is responsible for. Most of the time, this means that pests like fleas, ticks, bed bugs, and recurrent cockroaches are the tenant’s responsibility. Make sure you have each item clearly labeled, and go over it with them while signing the lease so that there are no questions.
Landlord Pest Control Responsibility in Texas
Texas is a haven for bugs, and because of this, pest control in rental properties is a big deal. Under the Texas Property Code 92, it states that landlords are responsible for providing a habitable home. But, what does this truly mean? Well, anything that is a health or safety concern to the tenant is required to be handled.
When it comes to pests, this is a little more difficult. Many landlords say that the tenants are responsible if the pests enter the home 30 days after a tenant has moved in. However, termites are excluded. Anytime termites are found, it is the responsibility of the landlord. Other than that, the answers get a little gray. For example:
- If there is a rat infestation in the home, it may be the tenant’s responsibility. However, if the infestation is caused because of holes in the home that the landlord didn’t fix, that’s the landlord’s responsibility.
- If cockroaches are found, it is often the landlord’s responsibility. If cockroaches are found multiple times due to how the tenant is living, it is the tenant’s responsibility.
- If bees are found around the home, it is the tenant’s responsibility. Even if the tenants are deathly allergic to bees, it is still the tenant’s responsibility.
Landlord Pest Control Responsibility in South Carolina
When it comes to bugs, South Carolina is no stranger to them. If you’re a landlord in South Carolina, you may be wondering about your responsibility when it comes to pest control. Currently, there aren’t any laws stating that you must provide pest control. However, you are required to provide a livable rental property, so it must be infestation-free when the renter moves in. That means the property needs to be free from:
- Rats, mice, and other rodents
Who is responsible for future pest control will depend on the lease that you have drawn up. Many landlords in South Carolina choose to provide pest control as an advantage to the property, and a quarterly treatment can keep damage from pests happening. It’s important to protect your investment! However, this is ultimately up to the landlord and renter.
Who should purchase pest control for rental properties?
As a landlord, you should provide preventive pest control for rodents and termites. If you want to keep your rental property in the best condition possible, it’s smart to have year round preventive pest control that will keep your home free from damaging pests and your tenants happy.
As a tenant, if your landlord will not provide pest control, you should purchase preventive pest control to keep your family safe. Always be sure to check over your lease and read it before signing so you know what you’re responsible for.
Conclusion: Are landlords responsible for pest control?
Depending on the pest and how bad the infestation is, a landlord may be responsible. If you’re in the Dallas, Texas area and have a rental property, providing pest control is a smart idea. It will keep your home and tenants protected. For just a small extra cost each year, you can have happy tenants that enjoy their stay.
If you’re a landlord in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, from Denton to McKinney to Mesquite and need one-time or regular pest control for your tenants, we can provide that for you. If you’re a tenant at a rental property and need pest control, we can help. From infestations to pest control preventions, we can handle it all. No pest problem is too big for us! Call us today for a free quote or fill out the form below.