Dealing with bed bugs can be frustrating, difficult, and irritating. If you own property, you may find that bed bugs in an apartment complex can quickly escalate into a disaster. In Salt Lake, we have seen an increase in problems with bed bug outbreaks in hotels, motels, and rental properties. If you have a bed bug outbreak, what can you do to eradicate them? Recent surveys show 39% of renters are concerned about bed bugs, and cite them as one of the reasons they would avoid renewing a rental agreement. Here are some things you need to know about how to prevent bed bugs.
Be Aware of What Bed Bugs Can Do
Bed bugs quickly attach to clothing. When you have people moving in and out, bed bugs can easily move around by attaching to luggage, clothing, backpacks, and just about anything. It can be difficult to identify how the bed bugs arrived, but eradicating them is the most important thing you can do to prevent your property from receiving a bad reputation.
How to Remove Bed Bugs
If you have a tenant call you about bed bugs, you need to remain calm and do your best to calm your tenant. While bed bugs can lead to itching, rashes, and health issues, it is important to try and reduce your tenants fear of the bed bugs destroying their living space. In some cases, tenants think they have bed bugs, only to find out they have fleas or roaches. The best course of action to take is to contact an exterminator immediately. An exterminator will be able to identify what issue you have, and what the best treatment method is to eradicate the bed bugs.
Who is Responsible for Bed Bug Removal?
The situation of eradicating bed bugs and the cost to remove them can be tricky. It is important to review your rental agreements to make sure they are accurate and discuss situations with pests. Normally the responsibility will fall on the individual that brought the bed bugs to your rental unit. Exterminators can normally let you know how the bed bugs arrived. If they find a swarm of bed bugs came back from luggage, you can hold the tenant responsible for the bed bugs. However, most landlords find it is easier to build a pest control clause into their contracts to deal with such a situation and avoid angry tenants.
Some landlords provide rental units with furniture. If you have used furniture, you need to be concerned about bed bugs as many of them come from used furniture. Mattresses are another concern as they are often so small they are difficult to spot. If you do rent a property with furniture, always have the furniture professionally cleaned for bed bugs. There are specialty mattress cases you can purchase to prevent bed bugs. You can also treat fabrics with bed bug spray to help prevent bed bug infestations.
Encourage your tenants to maintain a clean home. While not everyone cleans the same, providing tenants with monthly “rent tips” as a newsletter or email is a great way to remind them of the importance of cleanliness. When dealing with rental properties that have multiple units, it is vital to try and limit bed bugs and other infestations as much as possible. If you are concerned, you may want to consider providing a yearly “deep clean” service for tenants that will involve shampooing carpets, cleaning drapery, and more. However, the cost of such cleaning solutions can become expensive.
Handling Bed Bugs as a Landlord
Landlords are faced with a difficult challenge if a bed bug infestation does occur. Early detection is essential to keeping costs under control, along with public panic related to your properties. We recommend taking the time to review your lease and rental agreements to ensure they include information about costs associated with bed bugs, and who will be liable for fronting the bill. Landlords are not legally required to provide pest control services. Updating your lease and rental policy is the best way to protect your investment from bed bug financial disaster. For additional information about bed bug infestations, and dealing with bed bugs in rental property in Salt Lake, call Keyrenter today!