7 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Rental Property

Preventative Steps for Landlords

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As a landlord, keeping pests out of your rental is incredibly important. Tenants do not want to live in a property that is home to bed bugs, mice, cockroaches and other pests. If you have an infestation, you will be dealing with constant tenant complaints and tenant turnover. Here are seven tips landlords can follow to keep your rental property free from pests.

Why Are Pests Such a Concern?

  1. Can Damage Rental Property- Rodents can chew through walls and certain water lines. The smell of urine can be difficult to get rid of.
  1. Lead to Tenant Complaints- Tenants do not want pests in their living space, so if there is an issue, you will hear about it.
  2. Lead to Tenant Turnover- If tenants are unhappy with their living conditions, they will move.
  3. Health and Safety Issues- Under landlord tenant law, a landlord must keep the rental property in a habitable condition. If there is a rodent or insect infestation, it needs to be remedied.

7 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Rental Property

While a landlord cannot control everything their tenants do, there are certain things that are within a landlord’s control. Following these steps can help reduce the chances of pests entering the rental property. 

1. Exterminate Regularly

You should schedule regular exterminations at your property. This should be done before you ever see signs of a rodent or insect. This preventative measure is important because, by the time you actually see signs of the critters, the infestation is already much larger than you realize.

Exterminating regularly will help keep your property clean and will help keep small problems from exploding into large ones.

2. Seal Up Cracks and Crevices

Sealing cracks and crevices in your property will help keep little critters out. This should be done around the exterior of the property, as well as inside the property.

On the exterior of the property, make sure to check the building’s foundation, as well as for gaps around pipes, vents, windows and doors. When sealing the inside of the property, make sure to check basements, common areas, tenants’ apartments, attics and crawl spaces. Again, check around the perimeter and near any pipes, vents, windows and doors.

This can be a time consuming process, but it can help save you time and money later on. For mice prevention, you can insert a mixture of steel wool and caulk into the hole because mice will chew through caulk alone. Caulking works well to fill all other cracks and crevices.

3. Keep Common Areas Clean

While you cannot control how a tenant lives inside their own apartment, unless they are violating safety standards of course, you still have control over the common areas of the property. You can make sure all common areas are clean and free from trash and debris. Vacuuming or sweeping once or twice a week should be sufficient.

4. Have Proper Trash Receptacles

To help prevent pests in your property, make sure you have proper waste bins. These bins should be sturdy and have lids which should always be secured to the top. You should regularly inspect them to make sure they are free of cracks or holes.

If possible, place these bins away from the actual property. You do not want the smell of garbage to attract creatures near your property.

5. Remove Clutter From Around the Property

In addition to keeping trash receptacles away from your property, you should remove any clutter around the perimeter of the property. Piles of wood, logs or compost should be moved away from the property. Trim hedges and bushes and get rid of weeds.

Keeping a clean perimeter will help reduce spots for vermin to hide in or to build nests. If pests are living close to your property, there is a greater likelihood of them getting inside your property.

6. Eliminate Standing Water Around the Property

If there is standing water around or inside the property, or if there are leaky pipes or faucets, you should fix the problem immediately.

Standing water is a breeding ground for insects and water also attracts cockroaches and rodents.

7. Contact Tenants if You Notice a Problem

As the landlord, there is only so much you can do to prevent pests in your property. Your tenants have to do their part as well.

If you notice trash accumulating, garbage that is not being disposed of properly or debris around the property, contact your tenant immediately. Inform them of the proper procedures for disposing of garbage. Remind them that keeping the property clean can help prevent pests from entering.