Are more of your tenants complaining about bugs or rodents? A poor pest control policy can lead to long-term consequences.
The consequences can come in the form of health hazards and legal risks. Pests such as cockroaches can spread disease and make your tenants sick. They can also damage your infrastructure. A pest infestation may also involve the health department. You may even face a lawsuit.
Conversely, pest removal will save money and safeguard your property. A professional isn’t as expensive as you may think. The cost of not hiring one can be higher than hiring one.
Some pest control reps will also cut bushes and remove brush to mitigate pest habitation. You can also apply some do it yourself pest control if you have the time.
This article will explain why pest elimination should be a top priority. Let’s explore.
Pests can physically degrade your infrastructure. If talking about termites, for example, they can easily enter your property due to excessive moisture and exposed wood. They can also enter a structure’s foundation. You could have a full-scale termite infestation in as little as three days.
The average cost to remove termites is around $500. If termites invade multi-family units, the cost could be up to $900 or more. To avoid the heavy costs, hire a pest control company. Professionals will service your units regularly and kill termites before they can set up colonies.
With that, termites aren’t the only pests who can impact your infrastructure. Rats can also chew through insulation and chew on wiring components.
Rodents must chew on something incessantly because their teeth grow constantly. Therefore, they will size down their incisors using wood or any other material. If you notice wood dust in various corners of your property, you may have a rodent issue.
Bees can also damage wood frames, especially bore bees. Bore bees burrow into wood structures to make a nest.
The bees don’t cause extensive damage. The holes they leave behind allow moisture to seep in, causing mold and fungi to form. Also, bee damage can pave the way for other types of pests, such as carpenter ants.
Carpenter ants tend to burrow into softwood, especially rotting wood. If left alone, carpenter ants can do as much damage as termites. Carpenter ants don’t eat the wood. Instead, they use it to make a nest.
Moreover, wood openings allow other insects to feed on your infrastructure. As the material degrades, your plumbing network may be at risk. The elements and/or pests can erode metal pipes and cause plumbing issues.
To keep tenants happy, implement regular pest control services. An infestation of any kind can make tenants act out in the following ways:
- Refusing to pay rent
- Failing to renew the lease
- Contacting the Health Department
Tenants are more likely to contact the health department if they discover rats or roaches. As the landlord, you must maintain a clean and safe atmosphere. You can maintain a hygienic living space by getting rid of pests.
- Note: Before a tenant can contact the health department, they must notify the landlord first in many cases. Therefore, respond to a pest control complaint promptly. Getting angry or ignoring their concerns will cause them to file a complaint with health officials.
In most cases, tenants can report on landlords for the following types of infestations:
- Rodent infestations
- Roach infestations
- Silverfish infestations
- Bed bug infestations
All of these pests can cause irritations and spread disease. Bed bugs, for example, don’t spread disease, but they can cause a person to itch and scratch excessively. Bed bugs can also cause rashes.
Bed bugs often breed unabated due to their small size. Even though bed bugs aren’t a serious health hazard, tenants living with bed bugs may simply leave your unit.
To prevent bed bugs, hire a pest control company that knows how to prevent bed bug invasions. You can also apply DIY pest control to keep them at bay. If you have larger units, however, consider hiring a professional company.
Regardless of the infestation, the tenant only needs to prove that they’re not responsible for the infestation
They may also contact health officials in the event of a mold issue. Since pests can lead to mold growth, you may have two hazards that could put you out of business as a landlord. The Health Department may designate your units uninhabitable if you have pest and mold issues simultaneously.
Tenants can withhold rent in the event of a severe pest infestation. In many states, tenants can also move out, and landlords cannot charge them a penalty.
It doesn’t matter how early the tenant had signed the lease. In California, for example, renters cannot face penalties if they move out due to health concerns.
California allows renters to leave early because pests can jeopardize human health, especially if tenants suffer from long-term ailments like asthma.
Landlords may have little to no legal recourse when it comes to recuperating financial losses. In many cases, you have legal a responsibility to remove pests from the units.
Therefore, you’re breaking the law if you fail to contain bugs or vermin. If you try to impose fees or withhold their deposit, tenants can take you to court.
The Litigation Route
Tenants can even file a lawsuit against you if pests become too much of a burden. A lawsuit can also happen if a pest causes a hazard to your unit.
- Example: A rodent chewed through electrical wiring. As a result, a tenant suffered a burn from an electrical fire.
Rats can also get into cars and gnaw on the wiring. Renters can sue you for any damage that rats cause to their property.
In dire cases, exposed wiring can cause fires. If this occurs, your tenants can face injury or death. If a tragedy occurs on your property, you’re considered liable.
In most states, landlords have a duty to care. Duty to care applies to everyone in society. In general, a person should preserve the safety and wellbeing of others.
For landlords, you have to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere within your property. A pest issue violates the duty to care laws and exposes you to litigation.
If you face a lawsuit, you could pay thousands of dollars in attorney fees. An attorney can charge anywhere between $75 to $1,000 an hour.
Tenants will sue you in civil court. Plaintiffs can obtain a win with less evidence presented against you. In addition to attorney costs, a court case comes with other expenses, such as:
- Filing fees
- Reporter fees
- Copy fees
- Witness fees
Additionally, there is the cost of losing your case. A judge may award damages that could inhibit your ability to run your property. As an alternative, you can settle out of court. However, tenant lawyers may push for a higher settlement, especially for a class-action suit.
The good news is that you can avoid legal trouble by eliminating pests.
Word of Mouth
Negative buzz can stick with landlords for long periods. Over time, you may notice fewer applicants. Your tenants may complain about your units to friends, family members, or co-workers.
If word gets out that your unit has an infestation, fewer prospective tenants may apply. Also, current tenants may not renew their leases.
Moreover, former tenants may write bad reviews noting the property’s infestation problem. Therefore, you may have to charge lower rents to remain competitive.
Bad reviews also restrict your ability to attract quality tenants. Additionally, you may incur a reputation as an absentee landlord.
If tenants view you as an absentee landlord, the first you need to do is take care of the pest issue. When it comes to professional pest elimination vs DIY methods, a professional is the better option.
You may believe your pest mitigation methods are impeccable, but there’s always a chance you’ll miss an area. The best pest control eagle services, for example, can cover more ground and prevent insects and vermin from returning.
Overall, stopping pest invasions is the most important way to maintain your reputation.
Pest Control Is the Key to Prevention
Pest control will spare you the hassle of dealing with the financial costs of an infestation. You can engage in DIY pest control or hire a professional. Consider a company if you don’t have much time on your hands.
Bugs and rodents can damage your units, resulting in pricey repairs. Further, pests can compromise the health and wellbeing of your tenants. Pests such as rodents can chew on wiring, placing your renters in physical danger.
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