Are Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?

Can you sue a landlord for bed bugs? Can you evict a tenant for bed bugs? How do you kill bed bugs in an apartment? Are there task force and department of health revised code section on bed bugs control and tenant laws on pest control?

Oftentimes, arguments always ensue on whose responsibility it is to take care of pest problems or infestation in a rented property. One school of thought thinks it is the responsibility of the landlord to carry out pest control, while another school of thought believes pest control should be the responsibility of the tenant. However, are landlords responsible for pest control? We seek to wade into the controversy by trying to provide the most objective answer to this question.

Why should there be controversies regarding pest control between tenants and landlords? This is understandable because the cost of pest control services can be expensive at times, especially when there is an infestation. To ensure the complete extermination of pests, post extermination services like constant surveillance as well as scheduled visits have to be organized. The cost implications for these services can be considerably high. No tenant will like to bear the financial burden, and if the landlord is also not ready to foot the bills, conflict may result.

Are Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?

State Laws to the Rescue
The seeming nagging problem of whose responsibility it is to take care of pest in a rental property has been solved by state laws, most of which assign the responsibility of pest control to the landlords. It requires that they provide suitable rental property having adequate protection against pests which may gain access to such properties if protective steps such as window and door screens are absent.

These are preventive measures which are very effective in warding off the pest. However, in a situation where there is an actual infestation of the property, urgent treatment measures need to be implemented. Although DIY (Do-It-Yourself) methods may be considered, they are not quite effective in ensuring complete extermination. Such methods are more effective in the prevention of infestation, rather than extermination.

In cases of infestation, the services of pest control companies are required, as they carry out pest extermination services professionally, using the most effective treatment methods to achieve the desired results. Their services do not stop there, as they may organize scheduled visits to the property to ensure that the extermination was effective, and if not, the treatment is repeated.

Instances Where the Landlord Has to Pay
A landlord owns a rental property means that such property has to be free of pests for tenants to rent. The conditions of the property, as well as the surroundings of the property, need to be taken care of. Without adequately doing so, there are bound to be cases of infestation of such property. Due to maintenance requirements by States, landlords are required to ensure the functionality of the property. This is done by arranging for seasonal maintenance of such properties to keep natural pests at bay. Go to to find answers some pressing legal issues regarding the responsibilities of landlords.

Instances Where the Tenant Has to Pay
It is not in every situation that the landlord is required to pay for pest control services. There are times where negligence on the part of the tenant may lead to cases of pest infestation. These may arise due to keeping garbage for too long in the house, leading to the cockroach or ant infestations which are the most common. In such cases, when the pest control technician visits for an inspection, he examines the causes of infestation to determine if it was the responsibility of the landlord or that of the tenant.

If the tenant is found to have been negligent in discouraging the activities of pest, he is made to foot the bills of the extermination service. To find out legal questions concerning the role and responsibilities of tenants, visit

Some Exceptions
In some situations, landlords will include the pest control cost in the lease with the knowledge of the tenant through a lease agreement signed by both parties. This ensures that there are no conflicts regarding the matter of responsibility. In this case, the tenant does not have to worry about pest control costs as it is already included in the lease payment.

Responsibilities for Both Landlords and Tenants
Landlord and tenants all have responsibilities for the maintenance of the rented property, especially as it regards the prevention of pests. Landlords should be responsible for ensuring that before a new tenant moves in, a removal of pests by a competent pest control company should be done. This ensures that the new tenant does not move into an infested house. Other responsibilities of the landlord include a constant upkeep of the property by a competent pest control company.

On the other hand, Tenants should be responsible for examining the contract as well as the house before committing to it or moving into the property. This will save them from unpleasant situations which may result should they discover they moved into a pest infested house. Other responsibilities include the maintenance of good hygiene by disposing of garbage, as well as ensuring the entire house is clean. Any structural damages must be immediately reported to the landlord for immediate fixing to prevent pests from gaining entry into the house.

We have offered answers to a question which has always been on the lips of many. Are landlords responsible for pest control? With the answers provided above, it is believed that conflicts between landlords and tenants will be considerably reduced. Also, by studying state requirements for both parties, it is believed that there will be fewer cases of controversy on the issue of where responsibility should lie in the matter of pest control.

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