Dealing with a pest infestation as a landlord: five things you need to do
Having pests is a nightmare for tenants and landlords alike. As a landlord, your property is a valuable investment, and pests can cause serious damage. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities as a landlord and know when you need to step up to fix a problem.
Some landlords choose to pay for pest control regardless of who is at fault, just to ensure that the issue is resolved.
Having a good working relationship with your tenants is critical for both parties. Before assigning blame, consider visiting the property to assess the situation. Discuss the issue with your tenants and find a solution that works for everyone.
Determine the cause of the infestation
The person responsible for dealing with pests, you or your tenants, depends on what caused the pest infestation. If the infestation was caused by their behaviour or use of the property, then it is their responsibility to pay for pest control services – for instance, if they leave bins overflowing which attracts ants or mice.
If the reason for the pests is down to something you did or failed to do, it is your responsibility to pay. This could mean failing to repair gaps in the property walls that allow pests to enter.
Keep in close contact with your tenants
After you have assessed the situation, you should keep in contact with your tenants. If it is your responsibility to resolve the pest issue, and let them know your steps and when they can expect the pest control company to visit the property.
Likewise, if it is their responsibility, check in to ensure that they have found a suitable company and are getting the issue resolved.
Find a suitable pest control company
You will need a reputable pest control company to help you or your tenants deal with the issue. Some landlords prefer to choose the company themselves, regardless of who pays for the service.
Look for a reputable, local business – for example, if you are in the South West, you could look up a company like the experienced Bristol pest control experts at advancepestcontrolbristol.com.
Make repairs to the property in good time
Prevention is one of the best ways to avoid pest infestations. While you can’t control your tenants’ behaviour, you can ensure that you uphold your side of the tenancy agreement and carry out repairs in good time. This is one of the best ways to avoid the occurrence of pests on your property.
As mentioned above, having a good relationship with your tenants is crucial, and you should let them know they can always contact you if they find an issue.
Consider finding new tenants
If the pest issue was caused by your tenants, it might be a good idea to end their lease when the agreement term comes to an end. For instance, if poor cleaning habits or hoarding behaviours caused the infestation of pests, then there is a possibility of the issue arising again.
Talk to your tenants, and let them know you’re considering ending their lease. You could also offer to do regular inspections as an alternative to give you the peace of mind that any habits that caused the infestation are no longer occurring.