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Written by Tim Denner
on June 27, 2019

In rental properties the responsibilities of the owner and renter need to be clearly outlined in order to avoid confusion and ensure that the property is cared for properly. There are some areas of responsibility that are easy to define and others that seem to be gray areas. The task of pest prevention and control is one that can be put on the property owner or the tenant-depending on the source of the infestation and local laws. Having the tenant deal with pest control when it comes to pests like roaches or rodents is warranted when their presence is impacted by the living conditions inside the property. But, what about pests like termites that can be present for long periods of time and may not be the result of tenant behavior? In the case of termites, both the owner of the property and the tenant have responsibilities. And ultimately, both parties will benefit from having a property that is protected from termites.

The responsibilities of the owner

The owner of the property is responsible for having the property in a habitable condition before the tenants move in. The presence of termites is not generally considered or inspected by new tenants before moving into a property. The owner is responsible for having the property inspected for termites on a regular basis in order to keep it structurally sound. The good news is that termite inspections do not have to occur very frequently to keep the property protected. If you are a business owner you can talk to a local pest control professional about a schedule that will keep your property continuously protected.

The responsibilities of the tenant

The conditions in and around the property can be impacted by the actions of the tenant. In the case of termites one way tenants can have an impact in prevention is to keep an eye out for water issues. Water problems can make a termite infestation more likely because these pests usually need moisture rich soil in order to survive. If you are the tenant keep an eye out for potential problem areas such as a downspout that isn’t working correctly or an air conditioning unit that has too much condensation. Having your landlord make repairs on these types of issues quickly can minimize the chances of termites moving into the property. Another way tenants can help prevent termites is by keeping an eye out for swarmers. The presence of swarmers can indicate that there are termites looking for a new place to establish a colony. If you think you see swarmers let your landlord know so he or she can take action.

The mutual benefits of preventing termites

Preventing termites in a rental property is beneficial for both the owner and the tenant. As the owner, preventing termites protects your investment by helping you avoid costly damage. As the tenant, assisting the owner in keeping an eye out for potential problems will minimize disruptions into your routine such as having to temporarily move out for structural fumigation.

Termites can cause problems for both property owners and renters. If you are the owner it is worth the expense to proactively protect your property from termites. If you can recruit your tenants to help you keep an eye out for potential problem areas you will have the best possible situation for keeping termites out of your property.

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