Who is Responsible for Pest Control When Renting?

who is responsible for pest control when renting

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Pest control is an important issue for rental properties that often leads to disagreements between tenants and landlords. When pests like rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, and spiders invade a rental property, the question arises – Who is responsible for pest control when renting? Landlord or Tenant? The answer is not always straightforward and can depend on state laws, the lease agreement and the type of infestation. In this blog post, we’ll break down the pest control responsibilities for rental properties and provide valuable insights for tenants and landlords on how to deal with pest problems.

Benefits of Pest Control in Rental Properties

Investing in pest control for rental properties is a prudent decision that benefits both landlords and tenants involved in the rental agreement. It helps to create a healthy, safe, and pleasant living environment while safeguarding the long-term value of property. Here are some benefits of pest control in rental properties:

Improves Sanitation and Health: Pests like rodents, cockroaches, bed bugs and other pests carry diseases and allergens that pose health hazards to humans. Getting rid of those pests improves sanitation and a healthy living environment for tenants. Landlords must be aware that tenants appreciate living in clean rental units.

Prevent Property Damage: Pests can cause extensive damage to a property. If they are left uncontrolled, they destroy all your belongingness attached to the property and also degrade the property value. Pest control reduces such issues, which ultimately lowers repair costs.

Avoiding Complaints and Disputes: Pest infestations directly lead to tenant complaints, which can transform into disputes in the future. Effective pest management prevents such issues, maintaining a smoother landlord-tenant relationship.

Positive Reputation and Enhances Occupancy: A pest-free environment enhances a landlord’s reputation. Happy tenants are more likely to recommend the property to others, which leads to higher occupancy rates and reduced vacancy periods.

Legal Obligations: Generally speaking, landlords are legally obliged to provide a habitable living environment when renting. This includes addressing pest issues promptly. If a tenant demonstrates that a pest issue resulted from the landlord’s negligence, it can result in legal liabilities.

Compliance with Regulations: Different states have specific regulations regarding pest control in rental properties. Landlords must adhere to those rules and regulations to meet health and habitability standards. This helps to avoid fines or penalties.

Who is Responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property, Landlords Or Tenants?

Different states have laws regarding landlord and tenant responsibilities for pest control in a rental property. Responsibilities can vary depending on the type of pest infesting a rental unit. But, in most states like Oklahoma, landlords are primarily responsible for providing tenants with property suitable for occupation under the “implied warranty of habitability.” This means landlords have a legal duty to ensure rental units are kept pest-free, sanitary, and habitable. However, in the case of a pest infestation caused by a tenant, they are responsible for addressing and resolving the problem through appropriate pest control measures.

Landlords are obligated to regularly maintain and inspect the property as a preventive measure regarding pest treatment. Remember, prevention is the best medicine to get rid of unwanted visitors. If a landlord fails to eliminate an infestation after written notice, tenants can request repairs, terminate the lease, or deduct pest control costs from the rent.

The rental agreement should clearly mention the landlord’s responsibility for rental pest control, excluding the issues caused by the tenant’s action. The contract should also state when the tenant is payable for the extermination service contracted by the landlord.

Maintaining a pest-free environment is a shared responsibility between both landlords and tenants. It is important to establish a cooperative approach to pest management. Let’s get into the pest control responsibilities of both parties for better living space.

Check Out: Rental property inspection checklist

who is responsible for pest control when renting

Landlord Responsibilities for Pest Control

According to Oklahoma landlord-tenant pest control laws, pest control management falls upon the landlord’s shoulders. They are responsible for preventative pest control measures and handling infestations that arise from structural issues or previous tenants. If the tenant reports any kind of pest problems, then the landlord must take immediate action for the well-being of the tenants. Landlords are prohibited from retaliating against tenants who report pest issues or exercise these renter rights outlined in the statute. Timely pest control also safeguards the property itself from potential damage.

Here are the responsibilities of a landlord regarding pest control in a rental property:

Routine Inspections: One of the primary responsibilities of a landlord is to conduct routine pest inspections. These checks should be carried out periodically, effectively identifying and addressing potential issues. Regular inspections allow for early intervention, preventing minor pest problems from enlarging into major infestations.

Immediate Response: The landlord must take immediate action in the event of a pest infestation. This involves hiring a professional pest control service to eradicate the pests. Quick responses demonstrate the landlord’s commitment to maintaining a pest-free environment.

Preventative Measures: Landlords should take steps to seal any potential entry points for pests, such as gaps in walls, windows, and doors. Additionally, ensuring proper waste management and cleanliness within the property can greatly reduce the likelihood of infestations.

Educating Tenants: Landlords can fulfill their responsibility by providing educational resources to tenants. This can include information on basic pest prevention measures, such as proper food storage and waste disposal.

Tenant Responsibilities for Pest Control

While landlords bear the major responsibilities, tenants also have a responsibility, per Oklahoma law, for pest control efforts. They are expected to maintain cleanliness and hygiene within the rented space, which supports preventing and eliminating pest infestations.

Tenants should work together with landlords to get rid of pests through mutual accountability. This collaboration can finally declare victory in the battle against pests.

Here are some tactics to deal with pest problems in rental properties:

Reporting Pest Issues: If tenants notice the pests in rental space, they should immediately report any pest problems to the landlord to ensure timely intervention and prevent the issue from getting worse.

Proper Food Storage: Tenants should be educated on the importance of proper food storage to deter pests. Sealed containers and refrigeration of perishable items can go a long way in preventing access to a potential food source for pests.

Maintaining Cleanliness: Tenants are generally responsible for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene within their rented unit. This includes proper storage of food, regular cleaning, and quick reporting any pest sightings to the landlord. Proper garbage disposal is also important in preventing pest attraction.

Tenant-Caused Infestations: If a pest problem occurs due to the tenant’s any actions or negligence, such as leaving out uncovered food or hoarding, the tenant is responsible for addressing and resolving the issue.

Pet Responsibility: If a tenant has pets, they should ensure their living spaces are clean and free of pet food residue. Litter boxes and pet feeding areas should be regularly cleaned.

Is the Pest Control Clause Included in the Lease Agreement?

Yes, a pest control clause is generally included in the lease agreement regarding the responsibilities of both the landlord and the tenant with pest control measures. It helps establish clear expectations and procedures for preventing and addressing pest issues during the tenancy.

Before a tenant signs the lease agreement, it’s recommended to document the condition of the property, including any existing pest issues, during the move-in inspection to avoid disputes later on. It is also important to check that if the property owner is providing the rental units with well-conditioned and going to take care of the pest control financially, then tenants should be sure that the owner conducts seasonal pest control, usually 4 times a year. It is important to be clear about all the clauses before you sign the rental agreement. 

In certain circumstances, landlords do not cover the property damage resulting from pests. In such cases, your renter’s insurance will cover any damages caused by pests such as termites, rodents, or rats.

Top 3 Ways to Keep Your Rental Property Pest-Free

Ensuring a pest-free environment in your rental property not only fulfills legal obligations but also makes good business sense. A well-maintained and secure home encourages tenant satisfaction, reducing vacancies for landlords. Read on for three valuable strategies to prevent pest infestations in your rental property.

Knowledge is Key: Maintaining a pest-free rental property requires collaboration between landlords and tenants. Landlords should quickly address maintenance concerns and encourage tenants to report issues. Educate tenants about recognizing signs of pests or rodents for early detection and prevention, a vital step in eradicating potential infestations.

Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Property: While not all tenants may report maintenance issues promptly, regular property inspections can uncover potential vulnerabilities. Conduct one to two inspections per year with proper notice to tenants before entry. This proactive action allows you to address any emerging maintenance concerns and protect the property against pest entry.

Prioritize Professional Pest Control: While landlords can perform routine pest spraying, it doesn’t substitute for the expertise of a trained professional. Explore local pest control experts and consider seasonal maintenance plans for year-round pest prevention. Licensed pest experts can easily identify and address any emerging issues.


Pest control in rental units requires cooperation between landlords and tenants. While landlords are usually accountable for providing pest-free property, tenants must equally perform their role to prevent infestations and report any issues promptly. Establishing clear responsibilities in the contract and communicating regularly can help avoid potential disagreements. Addressing problems quickly with professional pest control treatment ensures the rental property is suitable to live in without any stress from pests.

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.

FAQs on Who is Responsible for Pest Control When Renting

Is the Landlord Responsible For Pest Control issues in Oklahoma?

The answer is Yes. The Landlord is responsible for the pest control issues in Oklahoma. The landlord is responsible to provide a pest-free healthy environment to their tenants.

Can I Break My Lease due to Mice Infestation?

If you live in a rented property and reported to the owner about a rat infestation, but the landlord couldn't solve the problem then yes, you can break the lease and move out claiming unhealthy living conditions.

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 in the wall.
2. Dispose of garbage regularly.
3. Store items in safe enclosed containers.
4. Reduce areas where pests can hide.
5. Remove any source of food, shelter, or water.

Is a landlord responsible for pest control?

The landlord is always responsible for pest control in a rental property since they have the responsibility of providing and maintaining pest free environment.

Is a landlord responsible for getting rid of mice?

The landlord is responsible for taking care of mice infestations in rental properties, regardless of whether they are caused by natural circumstances or if the mice were already present before the tenant moved in.

Can the landlord charge the tenant for pest control services?

Generally, a landlord is liable for the responsibility for pest control. But if the infestation has resulted from the tenant's side, the landlord can charge the tenant for pest control expenses.

Can a tenant be evicted for reporting pest control issues?

No, it is illegal for a landlord to evict the tenant for reporting pest control issues. It's the right of tenants. Tenant protection laws restrict the unreasonable actions of landlords towards tenants.

Is it legal for a landlord to ignore pest control issues?

No, landlords are mainly legally obligated to maintain the property in a habitable condition, including promptly addressing pest control issues. Failing to do so may lead to legal actions for the landlord.

scott nachatilo


Scott Nachatilo is an investor, property manager and owner of OKC Home Realty Services – one of the best property management companies in Oklahoma City. His mission is to help landlords and real estate investors to manage their property in Oklahoma.