Unfortunately, rental properties may sometimes suffer from pest infestations, which can be costly and time consuming to deal with. If the problem is determined to be the responsibility of the landlord or letting agent, they will have to pay to fix the problem. They may also need to make repairs to the building to ensure it doesn’t happen again and possibly offer a discount on rent if the tenants need to move out for an amount of time - when the property is fumigated, for example.
As with most maintenance issues, prevention is better than cure, so take a look at these handy tips to prevent pest infestations in your rental property.
Block Entry Points
The most obvious way to prevent pest infestations in your rental property is to inspect the exterior thoroughly for potential entry points. You should fill in and seal any cracks or holes in the walls that small rodents or other pests can squeeze through. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a biro, so it is important to be thorough. Using wire wool, metal kickplates, caulk or cement are effective methods for keeping out pests.
Ensure that door and window seals are tight and that the grills on extractor fans are intact too.
Internally, look for gaps beneath the skirting boards or any holes in the floors or ceilings through which they could move around the property or even from adjoining houses or flats. Spaces around door frames, windows and where the utilities enter the home are prime places for slugs and cockroaches to hide out during the day before they have free roam of the house at night.
Another place to seal is around the top and bottom of the kitchen sink. Pests need access to water and if there are spaces for them to fit through around the sink, it could help them thrive.
Treat Damp Immediately
Many insects such as cockroaches love warm, damp conditions, so make sure that your bathrooms and kitchens are well ventilated. If there is evidence of damp, no matter how minor it may seem, you need to treat it so as not to encourage roaches, silverfish and the like from moving in.
Of course, you will want to treat damp anyway as part of your general maintenance, but it is worth noting that delaying work or ignoring the problem has many different consequences.
Supply a Good Quality Vacuum Cleaner
Whether a landlord supplies tenants with appliances such as vacuum cleaners is, of course, entirely up to them. However, in the interests of helping tenants prevent pest infestations, it might be a good idea to offer them use of a good quality machine.
The best way to reduce the risk of bed bugs is to regularly vacuum sleeping areas, skirting boards and furniture with a high-powered cleaner. If the landlord supplies this, they know that they have given the tenant the best possible chance of keeping the property pest free.
Another idea along the same lines is to supply tenants with a robust bin for the kitchen. It should have a secure lid and no holes or cracks that allow pests in.
There is only so much a letting agent or landlord can do to prevent pest infestations in rental properties. A large part of the work falls to the tenant and, in particular, how they look after the property.
Keeping kitchens tidy and free of food remains is a huge help when it comes to prevention. Any food left out, particularly overnight, is simply helping the pests to grow and thrive. All leftovers should be sealed in Tupperware or placed in the fridge or other location that the rodents and bugs can’t access.
Tenants need to keep on top of clutter and cleaning in general too in order to help keep pests at bay. Large accumulations of dirty washing are tempting for nasties, as are piles of rubbish or exposed bin bags left lying near the property. All this trash should be placed inside the bin to avoid any pest issues.
If your tenants have pets, they need to make sure that no pests are travelling into the house in their fur too.
This is why performing regular inspections is so important when it comes to preventing pest infestations in your rental property. If you spot anything that the tenants are doing that may cause an issue, it can be nipped in the bud. In addition, tenants that know they are being inspected on a regular basis are more likely to keep the property in an orderly state.
Call in the Experts
You could also call on a professional to inspect your property. If a pest control expert is allowed to look around, they could spot potential weaknesses in your prevention strategy before the pests exploit them. Depending on how many properties you have, this might be a bit of a layout, but it could also save money in the long run.
Need Help Preventing Pest Infestations in Rental Properties?
Executive Property Management Solutions takes on property management services for lettings agents. Our professional team deals with all maintenance issues and inspections, as well as drawing up tenancy agreements that help set out who has responsibility for different aspects of pest prevention.
Contact us today by filling in your query in the box below or calling 0208 5757630.