How to Handle Pests In Your Rental Property? | A Florida Landlords Guide

Who is Responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property?

When faced with pests in a rental property, the big question is, “Who deals with this?”. Whether the responsibility of pest control falls on the tenant or the property owner depends on the dwelling type and the lease agreement between the two parties. 

According to Florida law, a landlord is responsible for pest control if the rental property is an apartment. However, if the Florida property is a duplex or a single-family home, the landlord is not legally responsible for dealing with pests. 

Although landlords are not legally responsible for pest control in single-family homes and duplexes, the lease agreement will outline the specific responsibilities. Depending on the lease agreement, a landlord may assume or assign pest control responsibility to the tenant.

What Kinds of Pests are Common in Florida?

If you’re a fan of pests, then Florida is your place! Due to the tropical climate and constant humidity, most Tampa, Florida residents will deal with pests in their homes at least once. Depending on the Florida region, tenants and landlords may deal with various pests.

The most common pests in Florida are:

  1. Ants
  2. Cockroaches 
  3. Mosquitos 
  4. Termites
  5. Spiders
  6. Rodents
  7. Fleas and Ticks

According to Florida Environmental Pest Management, Some Florida pests can be dangerous, spreading disease or causing harmful reactions to you or your property. Dangerous pests include mosquitoes, bufo toads, termites, and scorpions.

Early Detection and Prevention of Pests

To remain one step ahead of the pests, we highly recommend taking preventative measures to steer unwanted visitors away from your home. Dealing with pests is an unpleasant experience and a situation that can cause conflict between a landlord and tenant. To avoid pest infestations, conflict between the two parties, and property damage, we recommend taking the following preventative measures:

State Pest Control Responsibilities in the Lease Agreement

A lease agreement is a means for outlining and assigning all responsibilities between parties. Assigning the duty and responsibilities of pest control in a lease agreement is vital, especially in a state like Florida. 

For Florida apartment lease agreements, the lease agreement will say that the landlord is responsible for pest control — as per Florida law.

Assigning pest control duties is an essential aspect of the lease agreement for single-family and multifamily Florida rentals. Whether the landlord, property manager, or tenant is responsible for pest control should be clearly stated, and the lease agreement should outline the process to avoid confusion and conflict. 

Seal Possible Entry Points

Before and throughout all lease terms, property owners and tenants should seal all possible entry points. Property owners should conduct a rent-ready inspection between tenants, prioritizing checking for any cracks, gaps, or entryways for pests. 

In addition, tenants should consistently check to be sure there are no possible entry points for pests. Making a schedule to do so can be a precaution of great benefit to avoid dealing with pests. 

Keep the Property Clean and Well-Maintained 

Some tenants and landlords must be reminded that keeping the property clean and well-maintained is the most crucial step in pest prevention. Something that may seem small, like crumbs or a spill, can attract pests and ultimately lead to a pest infestation. As cockroaches are prevalent in Tampa, Florida and attracted to crumbs and mess, it’s essential to keep the interior of your home clean at all times.

In addition, waste management can make or break the presence of pests in your rental property. Failing to dispose of garbage properly is often a significant factor in pest infestations. Keeping garbage piled up inside or outside of your home will attract pests.

What to Do When Your Tenant Reports a Pest Problem?

When your tenant reports a pest problem, do not hesitate to address the issue. Waiting to address the infestation or ignoring your tenants’ communication will not only lead to conflict but can also lead to damage to your property. 

As a Tampa landlord, it is essential to take action and hire a professional pest control company. Being responsible for pest control as a landlord does not mean you should enter the home and exterminate pests yourself. 

Pest control must be performed by a licensed, experienced professional. A professional pest control company will use the proper tools and procedures to remove pests and prevent future infestations successfully. 

What if the Pest Infestation is the Renter’s Fault?

Landlords are typically responsible for pest control with one exception — proof that the renter caused the infestation. If the landlord can provide evidence that the pests were a direct result of the renter’s actions, the tenant is legally responsible for paying for pest control.

What if The Tenant Refuses to Pay for Pest Control?

If the tenant is found to be responsible for the pest infestation but refuses to pay for pest control, the landlord can issue a notice to cure or quit. A notice to cure or quit gives the tenant seven days to address the issue. If the tenant fails to address the issue in these seven days, they must legally be evicted from the property. 

As professional property managers, we know that conflict can be brutal for some landlords. Although it is not the ideal situation to issue a notice to cure or quit, doing so is essential in this case. The last thing you want is a prolonged pest infestation on your Tampa rental property. 

Pests like rodents or termites can cause permanent damage to the interior and exterior of your property. Property damage will lead to the need for construction and repairs, ultimately leading to a loss of months of rent payments.

Professional Property Manager Pest Control Advice

As Tampa property managers, we’ve dealt with a fair share of pest control issues. Our biggest advice to landlords is to be one step ahead of the pests. Implementing proactive pest control can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your property. 

Scheduling regular, bi-monthly, or quarterly pest control can help prevent the likelihood of a pest infestation. Regular inspections are also essential to ensure there is no way for the pests to get in. Your property should always be kept to the best standards for the safety of your tenants and your investment.

Working with a Tampa property management company can significantly help with issues like pest control. At The Listing Real Estate Management, we work with licensed and insured vendors to ensure all pest control is done safely and efficiently. 

As a landlord, working with a property management company takes the weight of pest control off your shoulders. You no longer have to worry about finding the right pest control company or how to proceed with tenant inquiries. At The Listing Real Estate Management, we handle it all, from communicating with tenants to scheduling and overseeing the completion of pest control.

We know how important it is to keep your property pest-free at all times. Our property managers are experts in Tampa property management and strive to provide our rental property owners with a positive and profitable experience. In addition, we work with the best local vendors to ensure a quality experience.

Contact us today at The Listing Real Estate Management, your boutique property manager and trusted source for Tampa property management services! Our years of experience and dedication will make all the difference in your rental property success.

Copyright © 2017-2023, The Listing Real Estate Management. All Rights Reserved.

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