In Indiana, the responsibility of covering pest control costs is determined by the rental agreement. A landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is free from potentially dangerous and damaging pests; however, if tenants are attracting pests into your rental, they could be liable for covering the expenses associated with pest control.
Moral and/or Legal Responsibility
Before delving into all of the considerations to take into account when it comes to determining if a landlord or a tenant is responsible for pest control costs, you should consider the implications associated with moral and/or legal responsibility should a pest issue result in secondary problems – such as detrimental health effects.
A landlord should always strive to keep funds in place to cover pest control should the need for such services arise.
- If a tenant reports a pest problem, a landlord in the State of Indiana must respond in a prompt manner. Pest control services should be arranged and all documentation stored appropriately.
- If a tenant is at fault for the pest control problem, a landlord should document evidence and explain the issue to tenant. You may end up resolving the issue in court. In short, be prepared to pay for the services and then you may seek reimbursement later on in court.
- If a landlord fails to deal with the issue in a timely manner, the tenant has a right to withhold rent.
- If a landlord tries to pass the responsibility to the tenant for the pest control, it must be documented with photographic evidence that indicates that they have engaged in some activity that makes them responsible.
- Examples of these types of activities include keeping an unclean house, hoarding, not storing food properly, not reporting leaks or the need to make other types of repairs, and similar activities. Remember, cover the expenses now to eliminate the problem and work to recover losses from the tenant at a later time.
What is a Pest Problem?
While the concept of a “pest problem” may be defined in different ways, the following offers a standard definition:
“A pest problem indicates that insects, various types of rodents, vermin, and/or other pests are present within sufficient numbers to result in the adverse effects to the rental structure and/or to the health, the overall safety, and/or the general welfare of the occupants within said structure.”
The response time of the landlord will depend upon the state law, type of pest infestation, and whether or not the pest is outlined as being “hazardous”.
For example, you may have 90 days to deal with a standard pest problem that includes those creatures that are identified as being “non-hazardous”. If the infestation involves “hazardous” pests – such as bed bugs – you may have 30 days. For rodent and cockroaches, you may have less time. In many instances, this averages around 21 days.
Ultimately, the landlord holds the responsibility of covering the costs of pest control services. In the State of Indiana, landlords must ensure that any and all structures that they rent out are up to code and are considered to be “habitable”. You may attempt to engage in do-it-yourself pest control. In order to cover yourself and prevent health issues and/or injuries from arising with your tenants, it is best to have professional pest control services administered to your rental property.
In order to prevent a pest infestation from occurring, you should ensure that you take the steps necessary to make certain that your rental is clean, uncluttered, and that you fix leaks and other issues that could attract various types of pests. You may also educate those that rent your property on preventing pests from infesting living areas. You may provide them with handouts, booklets, outline steps in your rental contract, and in other ways.
Under the laws outlined for the State of Indiana, there is no specific-based allocation on whether the landlord or the tenant are responsible for the costs of pest control. What is outlined is an implied-based warranty associated with habitability. This warranty specifies the following:
- Landlords hold a responsibility for ensuring common areas are kept safe and clean.
- Landlords are responsible for ensuring any necessary repairs are completed in a timely manner.
In addition to this, the laws state that tenants have a responsibility in ensuring that their home is kept safe and clean.
As a result, the Indiana laws make financial responsibility for pest control completely ambiguous. This means that it all comes down to the lease or rental contract that you have in place with your tenant. If pest control services become a necessity, it could prove to be quite costly. For example, if your rental becomes infested with bedbugs, the treatment to eliminate that infestation could be anywhere from $350 all the way up to $5,000+ – depending on the size of the structure, the severity of the location, and the area where the structure is located.
It is imperative that you specify who holds responsibility for pest control services in your lease or rental contract. As a landlord, you could include standard pest control – at your expense. If certain pests develop that stem from actions taken by tenants – such as a bedbug infestation – you could specify in the lease or contract that they are responsible for the financial aspect of the services that are required to eliminate the bedbugs. In the same respect, you could outline that certain actions taken by the tenant – such as uncleanliness and hoarding – could result in their being responsible for the pest control treatments that are required in the future. The choice is yours. Remember, though, that it all comes down to specifying who is responsible for what right up front in the lease and/or contract.
What are Landlords Responsible for in Indiana?
In the State of Indiana, landlords are responsible for providing a living area that is safe, clean and completely habitable. The rental has to comply with all codes associated with health and housing. Various systems and appliances much be kept safe and in optimal working order:
- Air conditioning, heating, and ventilation
- Sewage and waste
- Any appliances initially provided in the rental unit
Landlords must provide advance notice if they must enter the rental. The only exception to this is if emergency repairs are necessary. Tenants have a right to privacy, but landlords may do maintenance, inspections, and emergency repairs. No discrimination may occur to tenants. If there are questions regarding the laws that pertain to fair housing, they may be directed to the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. The phone number for this agency is as follows: 317-644-0673
What are Tenants Responsible for in Indiana?
The following outlines the responsibilities of tenants within the State of Indiana:
- Tenants must maintain utilities within the structure where they rent.
- Tenants are required to keep their rental clean and must not deface, damage, or destroy the structure or any component, thereof.
- No aspect of the rental should be abused by the tenant.
- Full compliance is required as it relates to the rental agreement, rules, and regulations of area and of landlord.
- All smoke detectors should be functional and batteries should be replaced when the need arises.
- If a tenant moves, the rental property should be left cleaned and completely undamaged – apart from any normal wear and tear.
- Rent must be paid.
- Measures should be taken to ensure that pests are not attracted to the rental property. For example, food should be properly stored, the rental and associated property should remain clean, and hoarding should not occur.
Who Has to Call for Pest Control on a Rental?
It really does not matter who decides to call for pest control on a rental in the State of Indiana on a rental. It must be understood, though, that the person who calls should expect to be the person who pays. As a tenant, you may call and order the services, but you will have to pay for the services. You cannot charge them to your landlord unless prior arrangements have been made between the landlord and the pest control company. In the same respect, you cannot call as a landlord and have the charges directed to your tenant. You will have to pay for the services and recoup your losses at a later time.
Contact Us Today
If you are in need of pest control services on your rental, contact us here at All Pest Exterminating today. We offer a variety of services that will ensure that your rental unit or units are habitable and up to the health and housing codes of the State of Indiana. If you would like to learn more, you may contact us today by calling the following phone number: 765-259-0043