Rental Basics in Austin>Question Details

Kevin, Home Buyer in 78749

In general, who should pay for pets control in rental property?

Asked by Kevin, 78749 Fri May 4, 2012

Our tenants live our rental house for 2yrs, I am wondering who's responsible for house spray to kill unwanted pets. I don't remember that I see something like this in the rental contract.

Help the community by answering this question:


Lawn maintenance, HOA fees, pool service, pest control etc. can go in either direction with either the owner or renter taking on the responsibility. The absolute best scenario is reaching an agreement on these issues prior to signing an contract and including them in this document.

Coming to an agreement after the fact can be problematic unless presented diplomatically.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
I also concur that it should be decided before signing the agreement. That's why it really depends on the contract that you have already signed. I would look at the contract and see what the agreement made previously says. Good luck and I hope you're able to figure everything out!
Flag Thu Nov 20, 2014
Agreed-- it really should be decided before you sign any agreements. For pests, a pest control company should be spraying regularly. For wild animals or abandoned pets, however, that's more up to the owner to call and report the problem.
Jenn |
Flag Sat Oct 25, 2014
In most cases I would assume that the home owner would take care of things like this. Unless the renter is at fault or the cause of the pests coming in which case they may be help liable. Any pests like mice should be taken care of as soon it is possible though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 15, 2015
First of all you need to know whether you mean pets or pests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 9, 2015
It can be required by Owner or Tenant in your lease. As listing agent, I always suggest to my clients to consider setting up a seasonal service and paying for service on their investment, property. Tenants tend to forget.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2015
It might be in your contract. I know that most college apartments the rental owners will pay for pest control. In the nicer apartments it might be different. You can ask your landlord and see which way it goes for your apartment complex. Just to be on the safe side I would look one more time at that contract.
Flag Tue May 12, 2015
If you are use the TAR lease it is clearly spelled out that the tenant does. I would review your lease to see what it states.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2015
It's interesting that there's nothing like that written like that in the rental agreement. Usually they have it spelled out pretty black and white. I would try to go and talk to the tenants. See if they are willing to pay to get rid of the pests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 24, 2015

I'm going to assume that you mean pest.

I would suggest that you read your contract again. Usually these are negotiable items between landlord and tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 8, 2015
Susie, I was hoping he meant pest as well! That would be horrible to kill unwanted pets that are just hanging out in your house. However, if you're trying to get rid of unwanted pests, I would check your contract to see if you are the one responsible or if the owner of the house is responsible. I would talk to the landlord before doing anything.
Flag Wed Mar 11, 2015
If there wasn't anything in the lease, or any of the other rental documents, about it, then the tenants can probably ask you to do it. Essentially, you are the homeowner. If they don't take care of it and then move out, you would have to take care of the problem, and wouldn't be able to put the blame on them. If the problem has come up already, I think your only option is to have it taken care of. If it hasn't come up yet, you should try to get some documents drawn up to set up how that problem would be handled.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 5, 2015
I agree, the first place that you should go to check is the lease. If it doesn't say in there, I would think that the owner should pay for pest control. That is really the only option that you have. I really can't stand bugs in my house though. They gross me out.
Flag Thu Mar 5, 2015
The homeowner or landlord is responsible for any and all pest control situations. My daughter lives in an apartment that has been having problems with racoons. All of the tenants who live on the first floor cannot leave their window open, not even with the screen. If they do, racoons will get in their rooms. The landlord is taking care of the situation and hopefully the problem will go away soon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 8, 2014
It's normally the domain of the landlord to contract a pest control service to maintain his buildings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 20, 2014
Pest control ideally should have been part of the lease agreement. If the property owners wants to ensure pests are managed, I highly recommend they include it in the rental agreement and ensure it's done quarterly.

Review your lease. If it's not in there - then most likely you as the owner will need to take care of pests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 20, 2014
I would also really like to get rid of a lot of pests I have around. I don't know how to get rid of them on my own, so I figured that I might as well leave it up to the professionals.
Flag Tue Dec 23, 2014
I agree, the first place to start would be your contract. Most likely the land lord would be responsible for pest control, but you never know. Most bugs and insects can really decrease the value of a home, so I would recommend taking care of the problem asap.
Flag Wed Dec 3, 2014
by the way, it is a Texas Residential Lease Agreement
Flag Fri Oct 24, 2014
Ranee, thank you. After reading your post I looked at my Texas lease agreement with my tenants and it states, "Tenant, at Tenant's expense, must:
(9) pay any periodic, preventive, or additional extermination costs desired by Tenant, including treatment for bed bugs, unless otherwise required by law;"
In addition, with respect to tenants complaining about fire ants in the yard, lease also states:
B. Yard Maintenance:
(2) "Maintain the yard", means to perform activities such as, but not limited to: (a) mowing, fertilizing, and tramming the yard; (b) controlling pests and weeds in the yard; and (c) removing debris from the yard

Now, I've gone above and beyond on pest control right after tenants moved in with respect to ants (which I did not have a problem inside the home at any point in 2-1/2 years), now I believe it is time for me to lean on the lease agreement and have tenants start paying for their own ant problem in the home and yard.

Your thoughts?
Flag Fri Oct 24, 2014
if you are renting and landlord has no lease agreement and u have cockroaches who pays for thepst control
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2014
the landlord didnt have a lease we just got a reciept. and we have roaches bad. and jus need to know whos responsible for paying for pest control?
Flag Sun Aug 24, 2014
Usually it is the tenants responsibility. Unless of course it is a moral thing... if you knew the pests were there prior to your renting them the home, you should really take care of the issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 22, 2013
My landlord pays for the pest control. However require us to clean up cabints, closets, bathroom...etc. till shelves are empty , also not to enter for 8 hours after treatment. Can he require us to be this much time away from our home also the full day work by us before and after?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 21, 2013
I think that you just have to check the contract. In most cases, the landlord pays for pest control. Unless it says otherwise in the by laws, I would just go with this. Good luck, and I hope that you're able to get rid of all of those bugs.
Flag Tue Mar 17, 2015
The landlord should take responsibility for all the pest control. It doesn't work to have each individual renter try and have pest control done, because then the pests migrate to the other apartments. It's just better if the landlord handles it.
Flag Sat Dec 6, 2014
"Maintenance and repair; rules. Tenan will, at its sole expense, keep and maintain the Premises and appurtenances in good and sanitary condition"

I double checked our lease agreement. Can I use above statements as ground to refuse to pay for the pests control cost requested by our tenant.

Thank you all for your inputs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
What kind of pests are they dealing with? It makes a difference, because some pests are constant problems that need to be dealt with regularly. That usually depends on the area-- where I live, it's sugar ants. If there's a sudden bee infestation, however, I might be able to ask the owner to provide the pest control.
Jenn |
Flag Wed Dec 3, 2014
Often pest control is addressed in the lease agreement. If its not, I would place the responsibility on the tenant if there was no history of pests theyy must be creating a pest conducive environment for roaches or ants. Something like termites or WDI should probably fall to landlord. Of course this is only an opinion, perhaps you could split the cost for pest treatment? I suggest both of you discussing the problem and potential remedy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
Often pest control is addressed in the lease agreement. If its not, I would place the responsibility on the tenant if there was no history of pests theyy must be creating a pest conducive environment for roaches or ants. Something like termites or WDI should probably fall to landlord. Of course this is only an opinion, perhaps you could split the cost for pest treatment? I suggest both of you discussing the problem and potential remedy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
That should be covered in your lease agreement. Go back a take a look at it to double check.

I own rental properties and as an owner/landlord I have pest control service quarterly. I don't want bugs in my house, doesn't matter if I live there or tenants.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
LOL! I think you mean PESTS, not PETS... right? I would hope you're not attempting to kill the tenant's pets. I will assume the former with regard to the question: This depends on the type of lease you have with your tenant (for example: a triple-net lease, used on mostly commercial property, would require the tenant to handle anything that's not the exterior of the property). In the past when I've rented, I've always handled this myself. This does depend on whether there was a pest control problem existing at the time the tenants moved into the property. If not, then this would make a strong case that perhaps the tenants are not keeping up with their obligations to keep the property clean and free of debris. Is there an HOA on the property or a property management company? Your lease should have a clause that stipulates the tenant must maintain the property in a good condition, to include trash pickup, general cleaning and reasonable care. If the property is in an area where there are excessive spiders due to foliage or overgrowth and the tenant has properly maintained the property to a good condition, then you should consider handling this for them. If they are a bad tenant and keep trash and debris lying around then you should put them on notice to clean-up the property or face eviction (no one needs a tenant that runs down the property). Hopefully this gives you some food for thought.

Best Regards,

Joe Casey
Keller Williams Northwest
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012

Being as your the landlord, you and the tenant should have come to an agreement in the lease agreement. If you didn't it would be up to you to cover the fees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
Our leases state that the tenant is responsible for pest control. When it comes to things like roaches and bed bugs, the tenant has the most control over their environment and the resulting bugs. Treatment will be ineffective if there is food laying around or if they bring in infested furniture.

That being said, we always make sure the properties are treated between tenants. We feel it is our responsibility to provide a pest free environment up front. Also our exterminator provides a 90 day guarantee, so if they come back early in the lease we are covered.

Also, if the pest is the result of something that we are responsible for, we will often take care of it. Example....if a tear in the attic vent allows squirrels into the attic, we will remediate those.

Hope that helps.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
I assume that you mean 'pests' and not 'pets'.

It all comes down to your lease. The standard TAR (TX Assoc of REALTORS) lease states that the tenants are responsible for extermination/pest control. But there are lots of other leases out there that may or may not address this subject.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
What paragraph is this addressed?

Thank you.
Flag Thu Jul 16, 2015
Thank you both very much for the quick response. Yes, I mean "pests".

Flag Fri May 4, 2012
I am going to go out on a limb here and make an assumption that you mean "pests" not "pets".
As a landlord it is your property and you should protect your investment with the basics including pest control. If you want a tenant to pay for it add it to the lease agreement upfront. I do NOT see this as a requirement from most landlords.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 4, 2012
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