Rental Basics in Scottsdale>Question Details

Amknop, Other/Just Looking in

In our existing AZ lease, it states that tenant is responsible for routine pest control. What is defination of routine if it isn't defind here.?

Asked by Amknop, Tue Sep 3, 2013

Recently, the outside block wall surrounding the property has become the new home to a swarm of bees. We notified the landlord (who is not local and in the cheap side) that this problem existed. He suggested a can of bug spray. We have tried on several times to manage this ourselves but according to a few bee experts the bees need to be exterminated properly and the hive inside then wall removed. Estimates start at a few hundred dollars an up depending on the damage. We have a 3 and 5 YO girls and a baby in the way. I believe this is a safety issue and the landlord should cover. Does this type of pest problem fall under the defination of routine?

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This is a great question. Routine pest control is somewhat opened to interpretation as it is not defined in the AAR standard lease. The rule of thumb in AZ would be common pests that are natural to the area are the responsibility to the tenant (or whomever it states on the lease). This would mean scorpions, spiders, termites etc. I would find out if the company that you are using that sprays for these items also includes the protection from bees.

Routine would also mean that you would have somebody come in to spray for these types of insects. If you chose not to have a regular spraying then you are not fulfilling the routine pest control. Over time bees, insects, termites could accumulate (and could go unnoticed until it becomes a problem) at the property and would be the responsibility of the tenant in this case.

If you are doing a routine pest control, I would ask them what they consider routine spraying (if it includes bees or not). They would be the experts in this case, if they say that "bees are not common to spray for" it could mean that this is not a routine pest problem and should be covered by the landlord.

Footnote: I am not a lawyer or legal expert nor am I giving legal advice. If you need further clarification I could consult a lawyer that is familiar with real estate law and find out what that definition would mean in a court.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 3, 2013
Thanks for explaining. Are bees common to Arizona? I don't know this particular area very well, but I didn't think it was common. Either way, a professional should be contacted. Otherwise they'll keep coming back for the remnants of the hive.

Jenn |
Flag Wed Aug 6, 2014
I think if it's a danger to the tenants the landlord is probably responsible. I don't think you can force him to pay for it, but show him the pros of fixing it. If you talk to him with a positive attitude he might be more willing to help with your bee problem.
Flag Wed Aug 6, 2014
Routine is pretty open ended, we usually define pest control as monthly and even stipulate internal and or external in leases.
I would imagine bees are not of the routine pest control and would suggest pursuing your landlord more aggressively. Also, you might seek help through an attorney who is familiar with the landlord tenant act.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 17, 2013
I agree. Routine can mean a variety of things. I think that it just depends on how often it needs pest control. There are some homes that need it less, but some need it more. This is what will probably define what is routine for you.
Gary Puntman |
Flag Mon Jul 21, 2014
Sometimes the AAR forms are a bit ambiguous which is why they often provide a section for additional terms and conditions. In this case, I would define the terms clearly so there is no confusion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
Bees in Arizona can be quite persistent and do often require professional extermination. You agreed to be responsible for "routine pest control." The landlord is bound by the Arizona landlord and tenant act to "keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition." I tend to believe that the bee removal would not be covered by "routine pest control" but I am not an attorney and this may be subject to interpretation. My exterminator offers routine pest control services for termites, scorpions, crickets, etc. but bees are handled on a special basis. However, some companies like Arizona Exterminating Co. offer an all pest solution that does include bees as part of their routine pest control.

Though you may consider your landlord "cheap" he/she certainly values you as a tenant and your continued rent payment. Perhaps you could provide the landlord with a quote from a local exterminator with information from the professional about the seriousness of the problem. An extension of the current lease or other property improvements might also help in bringing the landlord to the table to assist you. Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 4, 2013
I would say that if pests are involved, I would definitely make a phone call and get that routine pest control visit scheduled. If you aren't noticing a problem, I wouldn't worry about it.

Jim Tracy |
Flag Wed Aug 6, 2014
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