From bugs to rodents, it’s never pleasant to find a pest in your home. The tenant insists that the pests were already present when they moved in or that their neighbor is responsible—but the landlord suspects that the tenant brought the pests with them.
Either way, who’s responsible for calling the exterminator? We’re going to get into that, and what you should do if you suspect pests are present in your rental. Below you will find out who is responsible for pest control when renting.
The Importance of Pest Control
Delaying to treat a pest infestation can be dangerous. An infestation of cockroaches, mice, or bed bugs can lead to various health hazards.
Mice can transmit diseases such as salmonellosis, Hantavirus, and rat-bite fever. If rodents have contaminated your food sources, ingesting those foods can make you sick.
If you’ve dealt with bed bugs before, then you’ll know how unsettling it can be to wake up with bites on your body. Bed bugs linger in fabrics like sofas and mattresses. To prevent them from entering your home, be cautious when purchasing used furniture.
Cockroaches are known to trigger allergies, which may cause respiratory symptoms and irritation. They can also spread diseases like typhoid fever and cholera.
Having a pest infestation can negatively affect your mental health. It may cause feelings of shame, embarrassment, and discomfort. The solution is to eliminate pests from your home as quickly as possible.
Who is Responsible for Pest Control when Renting?
This answer depends on a few factors. In most cases, landlords are required to control any pest problems and book the required treatments. They’re responsible for giving the tenant a safe and sanitary home, but a pest infestation is quite the opposite.
After exterminator services are scheduled, the resident often needs to prepare the home for the upcoming treatment. Tenants must comply with any requirements for the service, like leaving the property during scheduled hours or the emptying of cabinets.
But what if the infestation results from the tenant’s actions? Fleas might come from their pet’s fur, and bed bugs could be from the used furniture they purchased. It’s difficult to prove which person caused the infestation, but if the landlord does so successfully, the tenant may be responsible to pay for pest control.
Having pests doesn’t necessarily mean that that tenant is unsanitary. Perhaps there is a history of pest problems in a rental property or the unit has holes that make it easy for mice to enter. However, the landlord may be justified in evicting a tenant if they find that the suite is unreasonably dirty. Examples include having excessive garbage, leaving food sources uncovered, and keeping the doors open.
Landlord’s Responsibilities For Pest Control
Is your landlord responsible for pest control? In Oklahoma, landlords are responsible to make sure the rental unit is habitable. If your renters report any kinds of pest issues, the property owner needs to check with other tenants in the building in case the germs spread.
Following are the responsibilities of the landlord regarding pest control:
- As property owners, landlords need to be aware and responsible for pest prevention, such as seasonal pest control, maintaining sanitation in rental areas, or fixing pest-attracting water leaks.
- Owners may try some DIY pest removal tactics. This is normally legal, however, some states in Oklahoma may ask for a licensed service for pest control.
- Some laws in Oklahoma require landlords to instruct their tenants on pest prevention through informative handouts. This is crucial since tenants are the ones who look for rental property.
- Homeowners are liable for pest and vermin control. The only exception is if the pest outbreak has been caused by the renters’ lack of housekeeping or lack of hygiene. Tenants are responsible for causing trouble.
- Cockroaches are the most usual pests that tenants have to deal with. Same for the Mice. These are the landlord’s responsibilities if the house has a history of mice infestation; if the property is located in a grassy field.
- If the rodent infestation is generated because of the lack of cleanliness on the part of the residents, then tenants are liable for paying for pest control. Negligence like not taking out the trash regularly, or not cleaning the kitchen. However, here is a case. Landlords are also accountable for taking care of pest control if they are present before the tenant moved in.
Note: Renovating a Rental Property to attract potential tenants
Tenant Responsibilities for Pest Control
So, are tenants responsible for pest control? While moving in, tenants need to be responsible for not bringing any new pests. Residents need to report the existence of any pests immediately. The main concern is to keep the rental surrounding clean. Doing this can keep you away from pests. After all, cleanliness is the key. Here are some tactics to deal with a pest problem in rental property;
- Take the trash out on a regular basis.
- Make sure to keep control of insects on pets.
- Keep the surroundings clean and free of any food waste.
- Make sure you are not pulling up germs from people with pest problems.
Having visitors with pests issues on your home can neglect pests. Especially talking about the pests like bed bugs that spread so easily person-to-person. This can be an easy trick to fall into. And you will end up paying for it.
Do not wait to report it. Waiting to report to the landlord may end up for worse.
Taking about other ways to pest transmission, Issues like water leaks can attract pests to your rental home. Report your landlords about any structural damages you notice.
Often, landlords are liable for household pest control. However, if the homeowner can prove that the troubles (pests) have been caused by the tenant’s living habits, the burden will fall on them. A homeowner can mention the troubles like bringing a bed bug infestation, a cockroach infestation, and keeping the property contaminated. We personally would recommend a quality home inspection. Know more about why a home inspection is essential.
Spotting the Signs of an Infestation
To protect your health and well-being, you want to avoid renting a suite that has bugs or mice. Be on the watch for things to inspect before moving into an apartment.
Here are a few common signs that there are unwelcome guests in your rental suite:
- You wake up with bites on your skin.
- You hear scratching sounds at night.
- You find fecal matter around the suite.
- You notice bite marks on food packages.
As soon as you suspect that pests are in your suite, notify your landlord immediately. Prompt treatment will prevent the infestation from growing or spreading.
Some pests are easier to spot than others. Ants crawl around at all hours of the day, but cockroaches and mice wait until it is nighttime. Knowing how to identify bed bugs can stop an infestation in its tracks before it grows exponentially. The sooner that pest control services are scheduled, the better.
How to Get Rid of Pests in Rental Property
If you detect the presence of insects or rodents, what should you do to get rid of them?
The first step is contacting a residential pest control service. An exterminator can identify the most effective solution for evicting the bugs. If the suite has mice issues, they might set up traps with bait to lure them. For bed bugs, insecticide spray is the most common method. Cockroaches are tougher to eradicate—oftentimes, poisoned bait is used to gradually kill them off.
A professional exterminator will know the most thorough, effective, and safe ways to eliminate pest infestations.
When tenants suspect that pests are in their homes, they might be hesitant to report it. They may worry that they’ll be liable for any damages or have to pay for pest control. Whether the responsibility falls to the landlord or not, reporting it immediately is the safest thing to do. An unmanaged infestation poses health hazards to all the building’s occupants.
As a landlord, it’s tough to stay on top of all the issues that arise with your rental properties. Looking for a property management company? At OKC Home Realty Services, we help landlords keep their costs down and their tenants happy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Is the Pest Control Clause Included in the Rental Agreement?
The pest control clause is basically included in the lease agreement as to the landlord’s management responsibility. Before signing the rental lease agreement, tenants should check for who is responsible for pest control when renting. And if it is mentioned that the property owner is delivering the unit in good condition and is taking care of the pest control financially.
Some lease includes that the landlord does seasonal pest control on the rental property, 4 times a year. It’s crucial to be clear about all the clauses before you sign the lease.
In certain circumstances, landlords do not cover the property damage caused by pests. Well, then your renter’s insurance will cover the damages caused by pests like termites, rodents, or rats.
There are no specific laws about pest control in the state of Oklahoma. So while homeowners cannot rent apartments with known infestations, there’s not much legal aid for refusing to destroy bed bugs if the infestation is found well after moving in. Be aware of the terms of your lease and talk to your landlord about the issue so you don’t end up with offensive surprises.
Call us today for any queries.
Frequently Asked Questions On Pest Control
Are Landlords Responsible For Pest Control in Oklahoma?
The Answer is Yes. The Landlords are Responsible for the Pest Control in Oklahoma. They must notify the tenants that they’re doing pest control on the property.
Can I Break My Lease due to Rats Infestation?
If you live in a rented property and reported the owner about rat infestation, but the landlord couldn’t solve the problem then yes, you can break the lease and move out.
Should I tell my Landlord if I saw Cockroaches?
The presence of pests like rodents, bedbugs, or cockroaches is unsafe for habitation. So, yes you should report back to the landlord.
How to Prevent Pest Infestation?
1. Seal any cracks or holes on the wall.
2. Dispose of garbages regularly.
3. Store items in safe enclosed containers.
4. Reduce areas where pests can hide.
5. Remove any source of food, shelter, or water.