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Who Is Responsible For Pest Control – A Tenant Or A Landlord?

In a rental situation, it can sometimes be confusing who is responsible for what. If the refrigerator in your apartment breaks, who pays to have it fixed? If the dishwasher overflows and water seeps down into the floor, are you responsible for any damage that occurs? And what about pests? Whose responsibility is it to make sure you live in a pest-free environment, and what happens when pests do damage? When it comes to determining responsibility, it comes down to whether or not a tenant is living up to their responsibilities according to the law and the lease agreement. Whether it is appliance damage, water damage, or pest damage, the tenant must pay if the tenant causes the damage. Here’s what you need to know about pest control in rental situations.

Ongoing Pest Control Responsibilities

Every structure needs pest control. Bugs, rodents, and other pests aren’t just an irritation, they can cause damage and spread illness. It is to the advantage of a landlord to take on the responsibility of hiring a pest control company for routine visits and treatments. When left to a tenant, this vital service can be neglected, and serious problems can arise. Therefore, landlords usually shoulder the cost of ongoing pest control service.

Who Is Responsible When Pests Get In

Sometimes, even with the best pest control options, pests find a way in. When this occurs, there are a few things to consider:

  • Is the invading pest covered by the pest control service plan? If so, there should be no extra cost for the landlord or tenant.
  • If a pest control treatment is needed, and it falls outside of the pest control service plan, it will be the tenant’s responsibility to pay if the infestation is due to bad tenant behavior. Some examples of this are poor sanitary conditions that invite pests in, poor upkeep of pets which has led to an infestation of fleas or ticks, and moisture pest problems that arise from leaks that should have been addressed.
  • If there is a cost for extra treatments and the pest issue is linked to the conditions of the property, it will fall on the landlord to pay the extra cost of pest control.   
  • Some pests fall outside of regular pest control service. A good example is a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are carried in by tenants. This pest problem can be frustrating for tenants and landlords because it can be hard to determine who is to blame. Both parties should look to see what city or state ordinances have been enacted and work closely to ensure good communication.

If you are a landlord or tenant in South Carolina, and you have questions about pest control, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to answer your questions.