Why is there such a tremendous potential for friction between property managers (PM) and the tenants in their property? Usually, it is because both parties fail to put themselves in each other’s shoes.
Speaking from a tenant’s perspective, most managers do not realize how difficult it can be to live in a rented home. Although several property managers are tenants themselves or had at one time been tenants, only a few let that experience guide their conduct as rental property operators.
Most times, being a tenant means you have limited control over the physical condition of the home you reside. You do not determine how it looks or how well the systems function. Instead, you have to rely on the property manager to make sure everything in the home works.
That’s why the relationship between tenants and property managers is built on trust. Tenants trust the manager to ensure the property is everything the PM said it would be. Even a minor deviation from the tenant’s expectations can severely harm the relationship.
The primary area where tenants have significant issues is when there are pests infestation in a rental property. No matter how much they love nature, no tenant wants to share their home with mice, roaches, termites, bedbugs, or fleas. In the tenant’s mind, pests are one of the worst things in a rental.
Why Pests are Detrimental to Your Rental Property
But pests in a rental property are not just bad for the tenant. Pest invasion of a rental property can put the property manager’s business at risk and expose the property to risk of damage. Everyone connected to a rental property suffers when pests make their home in it.
On the owner’s side, pests can damage the physical features of the home. For instance, rodents can bore holes into drywall and wood. They can chew up the home’s electrical and plumbing systems. They can even undermine the structural integrity of the house.
For property managers, pests can undo all the elegant work they have done to attract tenants to the home. If tenants terminate their lease prematurely because of pests, the property manager’s reputation will suffer, and they could lose valuable clients.
Tenants who live in a home infested with pests have more exposure to diseases. That is because they have contact with pests, get bitten, or eat food contaminated with pest urine and droppings. Pests will also destroy the tenant’s belongings.
As a property manager, it is in your interest to rid the homes under your management of pests. How you approach this all-important task determines the impact of the problem on your business, the property, the tenants, and the homeowner.
What is the best way to tackle pests in a rental property?
There are two strategies for getting rid of pests in a rental property:
The Reactive Method
When you adopt a reactive pest control strategy, you only take action when you discover pests in the home. The problem with this approach is pests are always a step ahead, and you are playing catch-up. Usually, before you discover the presence of pests in the home, they have already ⁿdone some damage. Sometimes the damage is irreparable, such as when they force a tenant to leave. That is not the best way to approach pest control in a rental home.
The Proactive Method
A proactive method of pest control is preemptive and comprehensive. It is not just concerned with removing pests when they appear in the home; it also addresses the causes of the infestation. A proactive pest control strategy will let you look at the problem holistically. You examine tenants’ habits that may be contributing to the pest problem.
Benefits of Proactive Pest Control
When property managers hire a pest control expert to implement proactive pest control in a rental home, these are the benefits:
1. Prevents pest infestationThe pest control expert will identify and seal all pest entry points. They will also deploy extermination techniques that get rid of pests across their life cycles. Doing this removes the pests in the home and keeps new ones from entering.
2. Expedited responseIf pests are found in the home, the pest control company will act speedily. When dealing with pests, time is of the essence. Delays will worsen the problem and increase the cost of solving it.
3. Consistent qualityGiven that the pest control effort is regular – even when there are no identified problems – the home will be pest-free consistently. It can do a lot for tenants’ confidence and make them more willing to remain in the property.
4. Improved productivity and profitsWith a proactive pest control program, you can focus time and energy on other areas of your property management business. The overall impact of having a proactive pest control strategy is that you have a more profitable business and happier owners.