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Is Pest Control The Responsibility Of Property Managers & Landlords?

| Categories: Ants, Bees, Cockroaches, Property Managers, Spiders

When pests invade your own property, the likely reaction is call a pest control company and have the bugs removed….Problem solved!

But if you have a property with bugs and tenants living in it, there seems to be a grey area as to who is responsible for the removal of the pests.

It is often unknown as to how this situation should be handled, and can lead to conflict with the landlord-tenant relationship and/or a violation of lease agreements. However, when pest infestations occur, the solution should be as clear as day.

Here are some rules to follow for clarity on who is responsible for pest control on a rental property.

Who’s Responsible When Bugs Arrive?

Determining this question depends solely on who was negligent. A tenant has an obligatory duty to keep the living space clean while the landlord must maintain the rental property to keep fit for human habilitation & up to building code standards.

In a nutshell, both parties, the landlord & tenant, are responsible for preventing pest infestations.

So if a pest problem does occur, the party that didn’t fulfill their duty to keep pests out can be considered the responsible one. For example, if roaches or rodents are showing up because of left out food items or piles of garbage, this would be negligence from the tenant. Then, the tenant would be the one responsible for getting an exterminator and paying the bill.

However, California law recognizes an “implied warranty of habitability” for tenants. So if the property or units become naturally infested with bugs, rodents, bees, etc to the point of the home being inhabitable, the property manager is the one that must take action to get rid of the pests.

The Landlords Duty Of Pesticide Disclosure

Property owners have a responsibility to provide a notice to tenants when they contract with a pest exterminator. A new pest control service requires the landlord to provide notice before the first treatment and the use of pesticides. If the pest control company changes pesticides, another notice must be given to the tenant to inform of the new pesticides.

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