I read an article recently about a man who was on vacation and had a rental car. Much to his dismay, the car had somehow become infested with bed bugs. His solution was to scrub the interior down with rubbing alcohol. But the guy was a smoker, so when he lit a cigarette, he blew up his rental car.
Bed bugs are no laughing matter.
This is one of the most problematic issues that you can deal with as a property owner. It doesn’t matter if your tenant makes $30,000 a year or $300,000. It can happen to someone who travels the world or never leaves Santa Rosa. Bed bugs can be brought into your residence by a number of means and once they’re there, they have to be eradicated.
Unfortunately for the tenant, they are often responsible for causing this problem even though they don’t intend to. As the property owner, because of the warrant of habitability, you are required to provide a number of things. One of those things is a property free of vermin. You don’t necessarily have the ability to say this is the tenant’s responsibility and then wait for the tenant to take care of it. As the property owner, you need to be sure you have it covered.
If you have a multi unit building; an eight-plex or a unit in a condo with adjacent units, you also have a responsibility to adjacent units. You cannot allow this problem to get any worse than it already is.
Fixing the bed bug problem is not inexpensive. At DeDe’s Rentals, we have been dealing with a property recently that has bed bugs. We initiated the extermination service because it was a condo and we wanted to stop the damage right away. Fortunately, there were no problems with the adjacent units, but we did have to deal with the unit that we manage. It was an expensive project. We arranged a situation where the owner paid the costs of the service so the job would get done immediately. Now, the tenant is paying off the cost over a course of several months by making payments. Unfortunately, they caused the problem and they need to meet their obligations.
As a property owner, there will be instances when you have to make sure the problem is taken care of immediately and then negotiate with the tenant to hold them accountable.
Property management, while enjoyable and challenging, is not simple. We are here to help you make it simple. Contact us at DeDe’s Rentals if you have any questions or need any help.