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Legal Rights of Tenants with Pest Problems
Discovering a pest infestation is an ugly feeling. Regardless of the species of pest or the extent of the infestation, your living space is now shared with a destructive, unsanitary nest of critters.
When faced with a pest invasion, many homeowners turn to DIY or over-the-counter solutions like traps and poisons. However, if you are a tenant in a rental space, it can to be tough to know what you’re allowed to do and what limits your landlord has placed on what pest control solutions you can use. And since extermination services come at a cost, there may be a debate as to who should pay for the pest removal.
As a tenant, it’s important to know your legal rights in a pest invasion situation. Listed below are the steps you need to take to find out how you should deal with a pest invasion in a rental, or if you can even act at all.
Tenant Pest Control in Washington State
According to state law, landlords are obligated to deal with pest infestations in their rental units. However, if you are renting a single family residence or the infestation was caused by you, the tenant, the landlord does not have to contribute to the extermination process. Unless otherwise stated in your contract, pest infestations are technically repair issues, so requesting extermination would be the same as requesting a repair.
Pest Removal by Tenants
As many are unfortunate enough to know, pest problems can happen a number of different ways in a number of different circumstances. Some situations may not be as cut and dry as we would like to imagine, so understanding exactly what dictates “caused by tenant” or “repair by landlord” is vital. The last thing you want, as a renter, is to pay for damages you didn’t cause.
In some cases, poor living conditions and irregular housecleaning can attract pests. Whether the garbage isn’t taken out regularly or food is left exposed in the kitchen, pests love an unkempt apartment and will jump at the opportunity for a free meal. If the pest invasion can be linked to habits or neglect by the tenant, chances are the tenants will have to pay for the extermination services.
Pest Removal by Landlords
As mentioned above, some pest infestations may be considered a repair issue that should be taken care of by the landlord. If pre-existing attic or crawl space condition are the cause for pests, or if the exterior environment is prone to pests like rodents, it’s often viewed as a repair issue. Ants, wasps, rats, mice, and bedbugs tend to be common annoyances that occur without tenant behavior.
Remember to read your lease thoroughly for any mention of pest control services. Speak to your landlord about seasonal treatments that might prevent pest infestations in the future. Communication is key, and the last thing you want is to have extermination costs to fall on you unexpectedly.
Contact the Professionals
For information on affordable tenant pest control services, contact our team of experts. We have years of experience dealing with every pest in the Northwest, and we will work with you and your landlord to find the best pest removal solution for your situation. Call our offices or fill out our free consultation form to get started today!