Landlord Mistake #7: Bug Blindness

There is one word that makes homeowners shake in fear and trembling…


This issue is so important that I’m going to preach about it for this entire message!

Landlord Mistake #7 is bug blindness…specifically, bedbug blindness.

Landlords must be knowledgeable about bedbugs. If you don’t know much about them, you should clear your afternoon to read this resource: Bedbugs: Get them Out and Keep them Out (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

Bedbugs have become an issue throughout the United States and have stirred up the rental industry in particular. When a property becomes infested with bedbugs, the treatment process is extremely inconvenient and can be very costly.

There has been all sorts of controversy over responsibility:

Does the landlord pay for treatment or does the tenant?

Were the bedbugs present prior to move-in, or did the tenant bring them in?

No sane person brings bedbugs into their living space intentionally, and the creepy-crawlies are not connected to cleanliness. They are hitchhikers that hide out on furniture, in clothing, and in luggage. They are found in homes, hospitals, hotels, and other public places.

These tiny villains feed at night so your tenant might not even know they’re present right away. The tenants may or may not see bites, and if they do, they may not recognize them as bedbug bites. All of these delays give the bedbugs time to reproduce.

So what can a landlord do?

Get educated. Learn everything you can about bedbugs so you’re able to recognize them and educate your tenants. Teach tenants to be aware of and (if possible) avoid high-risk situations.

Hire a “bug busting” partner. Make sure you have a pest control expert on your side that can quickly identify and treat bedbug issues.

Get certified. When a tenant vacates, you can get the home inspected and certified as bedbug free. This can help you market to new tenants and give you (and them) peace of mind that the property is free of infestation.

Require reporting. Make sure your tenants report bug infestations quickly. Reward them for doing so. Don’t encourage them to treat any kind of bug infestations themselves. They may not know what they’re dealing with.

Plan for problems. I included this in my last email – the one about financial fumbles. A bedbug treatment can be costly and it is not optional. It MUST be done. Make sure you’re ready for the financial burden.

Be fair. It’s reasonable to assume your tenant did not bring bedbugs into your property on purpose. After all, they have to live there. Create a bedbug addendum to your lease that clearly spells out responsibilities from reporting the problem, to managing the treatment process, to covering the expenses.

Does thinking about bedbugs in your property give you the shivers?
Or, does your head start aching because you’ve already “been there, done that?”

If taking care of your property is “bugging” you, let us help. Our team of experienced professionals will relieve you of the day-to-day struggles so you can enjoy owning your rental property again. Our clients don’t complain about the cost of professional management because they recognize the worth.

When can we schedule a 15 to 20 minute phone meeting?

(203) ­909-­6333 –