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Pest Control For Landlords

Landlords must treat pest infestations promptly to maintain habitability standards and protect property value. They should also know the laws in their area concerning tenant responsibilities, such as whether bug infestations violate the implied warranty of habitability.

Most landlords include clauses in lease agreements that they are responsible for managing pest issues unless it can be proven that the tenant caused the problem. Calling Pest Control Columbia MO experts is the best way to get started.

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Preventative Measures

Many pest problems can be prevented by implementing preventative measures, such as regularly inspecting and maintaining properties to identify issues before they become infestations. Landlords can also educate tenants on ways to keep their properties clean and pest-free, including keeping trash out of sight and avoiding leaving food or water out, as well as addressing any minor pest problems quickly.

In addition, landlords can block access to the building from insects and rodents by repairing cracks in walls, floors, or windows, and blocking gaps around pipes and vents with caulk. Sealing doors, repairing screens, and removing piles of debris can also be effective in reducing pest infestations. Landlords should also consider incorporating Integrated Pest Management (IPM) into their maintenance practices to minimize the use of pesticides. This includes identifying pest populations, monitoring them, and taking action when needed using physical controls such as traps and barriers or biological methods like introducing natural predators. Chemical treatments should be used only as a last resort and when properly applied with proper safety protocols.

Tenants should be encouraged to report any pest infestations immediately, so they can be addressed as soon as possible. Many municipalities have regulations and laws that require landlords to address pest infestations promptly. This can help reduce health risks, damage to the property, and tenant dissatisfaction. Landlords should also consider placing an infestation clause in the lease agreement that makes the tenant responsible for paying for pest control services when they occur.

It is important to remember that landlords should always follow local laws and regulations regarding pest control. In some cases, a landlord may be required to hire pest control professionals who are licensed by the Environmental Conservation Department to use pesticides in a tenant’s apartment. Landlords should be aware of these regulations and laws and make sure they are following them to avoid fines or lawsuits. Landlords should also be familiar with habitability laws for apartments, as these guidelines can prevent pests from being able to thrive in the space. In addition, these laws can ensure that the apartment is safe and sanitary for the tenants.


Despite the best preventive efforts, pests can still find their way into rental properties. When this happens, landlords need to act quickly. The longer they wait, the more likely it is that the pests will spread throughout the building or homes and cause irreparable damage. To take care of a pest problem, landlords should conduct regular inspections and follow the proper treatment protocol.

Landlords should provide tenants with a pest control inspection report when the tenant moves in before the tenants move in, and at least once per year. The report should include details about the infestation and the landlord’s actions taken to eradicate it. This will help the tenant understand their responsibilities as well as what they can do to help prevent future infestations.

Some landlords may choose to have the inspector take pictures of the property as well. This can be especially helpful when determining who is responsible for an infestation. For example, if a landlord discovers that a tenant is not keeping the apartment clean or is attracting pests by leaving out food or trash, they can document this with pictures. Then, they can hold the tenant liable for the cost of pest control.

In many states, it is illegal for a landlord to refuse to treat a pest infestation. In some cases, a tenant will not want to be disturbed by the arrival of a pest control technician or may worry that they have allergies to the chemicals used in pest treatments. However, most experts agree that refusing to allow a technician into the home is not a valid reason to refuse treatment.

When a tenant calls for service, the landlord should try to schedule an appointment within 24 hours. If the landlord fails to meet this deadline, the tenant can file a complaint with 311. The city will send an inspector to assess the issue.

Landlords should also inspect the common areas of their buildings to make sure they are free of pests. This includes stairwells, hallways, doorways, and other shared spaces. It is important to block any entry points that pests can use into the buildings, including cracks and holes. They should also keep garbage bins out of sight and away from buildings to prevent rodents and insects from using them as shelter.


If pests are causing damage to your property or endangering the health and safety of tenants, you can’t ignore the problem. But you also don’t want to go overboard and make it difficult for your tenants to live there.

Landlords can protect the property from common local pests by practicing Integrated Pest Management, which includes sealing cracks, fixing leaks, and reducing moisture levels. They can also inspect all units before new tenants move in and arrange and pay for pest control services if an infestation occurs.

Tenants can do their part to help prevent pests by being vigilant about reporting problems and maintaining a clean, sanitary environment. They should also report all pest sightings to the landlord immediately, allowing him or her to take prompt action.

When reporting a pest problem, renters should describe the problem and include all pertinent details, such as how long the issue has existed, when they noticed the problem, and what steps they took to contact the landlord. Then, they should provide their name and phone number so the landlord can respond within a reasonable time frame.

Local laws and leases will also play a role in how landlords handle pest issues, and some jurisdictions may place more responsibility on the tenant than others. In a city, for example, landlords must abide by Local Law 55 of 2018, which states that they are responsible for keeping apartments free of roaches, ants, and rodents.

Landlords should also clarify in their lease agreements the financial responsibilities of tenants regarding pest control and the scenarios where the landlord will be held liable for the cost of treatment due to negligence or breach of lease terms. Additionally, they should specify if they require tenant cooperation during pest control treatments, including vacating the unit and following pre- and post-treatment instructions.

Finally, landlords should make sure they are properly informed about pest control procedures and practices, such as using bait traps for ants and cockroaches instead of spraying chemicals in kitchens, and that all employees they hire for their pest control services have the proper training and licenses. Finally, they should always consult a lawyer before taking legal action against their tenants over pest control issues.


Getting to the root of a pest problem is essential for landlords. Landlords must ensure that the property is maintained and not provide a welcoming environment for pests by regularly checking the exterior of buildings and equipment, making sure trash bins are properly sealed, and sealing crevices where pests can hide. Keeping up with maintenance can help prevent the need for pest control interventions in the first place.

If a problem does arise, landlords need to act swiftly. Tenants are often distraught when a pest infestation occurs and quick action on the part of the landlord will show that the issue is taken seriously. Additionally, landlords can prevent pest problems from spreading to other units in the building by tackling them early.

In the case of a serious infestation, if a tenant is found to have caused it (such as leaving food out, or not taking out the garbage), the landlord may be able to get the tenant to pay for the pest control treatment. It is best to document the cause of the problem as soon as it is reported and ensure that tenants are given proper notice before any inspections take place.

Landlords should also have an emergency fund in the case of severe infestations, as pest damage can be extremely costly for property owners. For instance, pests can chew through electrical wires, destroy wood framing, and carry disease-causing bacteria, leading to health issues for occupants of the property. Moreover, serious pest problems can reduce the value of properties, and make it harder for landlords to find and retain tenants.