As a strata manager in Australia, the last thing you would want is tenants complaining about pest infestation in their apartments.
Besides being frustrating, the fact that tenants could sue you for this is enough to give you sleepless nights. They may even leave a bad rating online, tarnishing the property’s reputation.
It would help if you take such complaints seriously and ensure that you get them resolved immediately. Not only that, a strata manager should know about the rights of managers and tenants regarding pest control to avoid confusion and lawsuits.
This article will discuss all the important things related to pest control and how you can mitigate pest infestation when holding the position of a strata manager. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Is Pest Control The Responsibility Of A Strata Manager?
As a strata manager, you are generally responsible for pest control in the building. However, if the presence of pests, such as snakes, ants, spiders, cockroaches and rats, was caused by the poor housekeeping habits of the tenant, then the tenant is responsible.
Being the strata manager, you must inspect any property carefully. If you find a pest infestation, ensure that you employ an experienced pest control service before renting out the property.
You should remember that pests can enter a property from minor holes. Therefore, addressing the structural issues in the building, including torn screens, openings in windows and doors, and cracks, should be your priority. The contract or lease should have a dedicated section regarding the maintenance of the property.
It is also worth noting that regular inspection is an absolute must to detect early signs of pest infestation. This helps the manager and the tenant save money, time and effort down the road to tackle pest-related issues.
Most importantly, a strata manager should be aware of the pest control regulations as any negligence on their part can lead to heavy fines and penalties. You may hire a licensed pest control service to fulfil the State Government or local council’s guidelines.
Why Is Pest Management Important In A Strata Property?
Pest management is crucial in strata properties because pests ruin the tenants’ food. People fall ill daily from consuming food contaminated by pests in Australia because they leave behind waste and body fluids.
And the worst part? Most pests carry various diseases that get transmitted when they come in contact with the human body, with some diseases even proving fatal.
Pests also emit a foul odour in the rooms they take shelter in. They can damage tenants’ personal belongings, often seen when mice and rats chew on wires or destroy electronic goods. It’s no surprise then that most tenants can’t tolerate pests, as people are either allergic or scared of them, but mostly because they are unhygienic.
Common Pests You Need To Be Aware Of
Now, let’s look at some of the pests that could invade your property.
1. Bed Bugs
These are undoubtedly the most common pests found in strata properties in Australia. As a strata manager, you should never attempt to get rid of bed bugs yourself; instead, hire a professional pest management company and let them take care of it.
There are cockroaches in almost every rental apartment and strata building. More often than not, they find their way into the building through cardboard boxes.
We strongly recommend advising your tenants not to keep too many cardboard boxes in their rooms. However, in this tech-driven day and age, where online shopping is the most commonly used mode of shopping, it is a tough task.
Ants are a problem everywhere, not just in commercial properties. They usually get into the building while searching for food, and since they move around in groups, ant infestations are pretty challenging to get rid of. If you spot a trail of ants, know that many more are crawling around out of sight.
Tips To Help Strata Managers Deal With Pest Infestation
Here, we have provided a few tips to help you deal with a pest infestation on the property.
1. Use Professional Help
First and foremost, ensure that you are taking the help of a well-known pest control company to get rid of the infestation. This is because professionals have the required experience and tools to locate the pests and deal with them before they become problematic for the tenants.
The best part is that such services can help tackle multiple infestations instead of one or two.
2. Take All Pest-Related Complaints Seriously
As a strata manager, you need to take pest-related complaints from your tenants seriously, including following up with them at the earliest. If you skip over a complaint and ignore it for days, it might result in a full-blown infestation, which is not something you would want.
You don’t necessarily have to contact the professionals every time, as some tenants exaggerate the problem. So, it would be best to check for yourself before hiring a pest-removal company.
3. Conduct Routine Inspections
Being a strata manager, you should conduct routine inspections on your property. Whether yearly, half-yearly or quarterly, you should search for places from where pests can enter different rooms. For instance, you should get all the openings, holes and cracks sealed wherever possible.
4. Communicate Properly With Your Tenants
When a tenant wants to report an infestation, they should be able to do so immediately. So, make sure you have different paths of communication open like texts, emails, calls, or even a complaint box in front of your office.
On a side note, we recommend not getting agitated when tenants call you multiple times a day. You can just reply politely and assure them that their issue is being addressed.
5. Educate The Tenants
Ensure that you let your tenants know about the rules and policies regarding pest control. Simple things like not allowing food to sit on surfaces, avoiding clutter and not leaving rubbish lying around can help promote proper hygiene.
You may send these reminders out from time to time, making people aware that general cleanliness plays a massive role in pest control.
6. Let Them Know Your Efforts
As a strata manager, you should inform the tenants about your efforts to tackle pest infestations. Most tenants will applaud the effort and feel safe knowing that you are doing your best to prevent a pest infestation. Long story short, your initiatives will keep the tenants happy and the property pest-free.
Guide To Pest Control For Strata Managers
With that, we have finally reached the end of this informative article. We hope it has provided you with in-depth knowledge about what you should know for pest control as a strata manager.
But before we sign off, let us do a quick recap. Don’t forget to conduct inspections regularly in your building and take pest-related complaints seriously. We also strongly recommend taking professional help from a local pest control company instead of trying to get rid of a full-blown infestation on your own.
And make sure to inform the tenants of your efforts to keep the building pest-free.
If you have a pest problem at one of your properties, or if you’d like to schedule an inspection, give us a call. The GC Pest Control team has been building strong and trusting relationships with strata managers for many years, ensuring quick and affordable service!
That’s all for today; we hope to see you soon.