Many landlords (commercial and residential) enlist agents or property management companies to assume responsibility of a property, seeking out tenants and solving maintenance issues, including pest control, as they arise. Managing property is difficult enough without unwanted pest guests. Whether it’s an Apartment / office block, commercial unit, shop, residential family home or a HMO, in any location, every property and pest situation has its own challenges.
Taking a proactive approach to pest control can not only ensure tenant satisfaction and retention but can help protect property and ultimately landlord investment form unexpected repairs and expensive reactionary measures. Heres why:
- Pests can make us physically ill
Pests carry disease causing pathogens. Whilst they don’t all make us ill instantly some examples include:
- Contamination of food / drink accessing food prep or storage areas. Pests don’t pay attention to no access signs or have an inclination that human food is off bounds - food is food!
- Biting insects such and bedbugs or fleas can cause allergic reactions
- Bird guano when dried turns to dust and when disturb can speed pathogens on a wider scales even getting into ventilation systems
2. Pests can cause damage to property and investment value
Pests can cause an unprecedented amount of damage to the physical property. Examples include
- Rats, mice and squirrels can chew through the fabric of the building causing unexpected repairs. Once inside they can chew through electrical wires with the potential to spark electrical fires. It’s not just the building wires at stake its occupier property. Imagine the damage if entering a IT control room?
- Birds roosting on roofs in eves or gutters not only are a cause of nuisance to tenants staff and visitors but can cause immense damage when picking at buildings. Nesting material blocks gutters and flues which in turn can cause huge knock on problems.
Obvious property damage I.e damp / water damage that has resulted from nesting materials blocking gutters undoubtedly makes the property less aesthetically appealing and ultimately less attractive to buyers or tenants. Leading to a decrease in market value of the property particularly if a problem is unchecked. Would you take on a property that was full of rodents or birds?
3. Damage to business or property reputation
Would you live or stay in accommodation that has bedbugs? What about eat in a takeaway with mice? What about renting a room where the tenants are battling a pest issue thats unresolved?
Online reviews word of mouth have can damage brand and drive away potential prospects. No one wants a property to remain unsold / untenanted. Voids have a major impact on the bottom line.
Establishing whose responsibility it is when dealing with a pest infestation depends on :
- Terms set in tenancy agreement
- If the property was infested prior to occupation
- If the problem was caused or exasperated by disrepair
- If the problem has resulted directly from a tenant activity.
Therefore, even if not expressly stated within the tenancy agreement there could be an implied obligation (and a moral obligation) on landlords to resolve a pest issue should it arise.
Prevention is better than cure. Property Managers can work with landlords and tenants and encourage them to reduce pest risk by:
- Maintaining high levels of hygiene
- Correctly disposing of waste
- Maintaining grounds
- Reporting or tending to building defects as soon as possible
- Regularly monitoring vacant properties, landmarks or institution spot defects / potential pest issues.
Sometimes the cause of the issue is not always so clear cut. Thats where the professionals come in. Contego are renowned for being one of the UK’s leading specialist Bird and Pest control companies Big or small, local or national, whatever the industry, our ‘think outside the box’ approach allows us to be responsive and adaptable to our client needs.
Need help with pest control help or advice? CALL 0800 028 7111