How do I address tenant complaints about pests in California?

As a landlord or property manager in California, one of the most common complaints you may receive from tenants is about pests. Whether it’s ants, roaches, mice, or bed bugs, pests can be a major headache for both tenants and landlords. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common California pest complaints and provide tips on how to address them effectively.

Common California Pest Complaints

California is home to a wide variety of pests, many of which can be found in both urban and rural areas. Some of the most common pest complaints in California include:

  • Ants: California is home to several species of ants, including Argentine ants, odorous house ants, and pavement ants. Ants can be a major nuisance for tenants, especially if they are attracted to food or water sources in the home.
  • Roaches: Cockroaches are a common pest in California, particularly in urban areas. They can be difficult to eradicate once they have infested a property, and they can carry diseases and trigger allergies in some people.
  • Mice: Mice are a common problem in many parts of California, particularly in rural areas. They can cause damage to property and can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
  • Bed bugs: Bed bugs are a growing problem in California and can be found in both residential and commercial properties. They can be difficult to detect and eradicate, and their bites can cause itching and discomfort for tenants.

How to Address Tenant Complaints About Pests

If a tenant complains about pests in their rental unit, it’s important to take their concerns seriously and address the issue promptly. Here are some tips on how to handle tenant complaints about pests:

  • Inspect the property: Before taking any action, it’s important to inspect the property to determine the extent of the pest problem. Look for signs of infestation, such as droppings, nests, or bite marks.
  • Identify the pest: Once you have determined that there is a pest problem, it’s important to identify the type of pest so that you can take appropriate action. Different pests require different treatment methods.
  • Take action: Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may need to hire a professional pest control company to treat the property. In some cases, you may be able to address the issue yourself using traps or baits.
  • Communicate with the tenant: Keep the tenant informed throughout the process and let them know what steps you are taking to address the issue. Provide them with information on how to prevent future infestations.
  • Follow up: After the pest problem has been addressed, follow up with the tenant to ensure that the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction.


Who is responsible for pest control in a rental property in California?

In California, landlords are generally responsible for maintaining a habitable living environment for their tenants, which includes addressing pest problems. However, tenants are also responsible for keeping the property clean and free of food and water sources that can attract pests.

Can a tenant break their lease if there is a pest problem in their rental unit?

In some cases, a tenant may be able to break their lease if there is a severe pest problem that makes the property uninhabitable. However, the tenant must provide written notice to the landlord and give them a reasonable amount of time to address the issue before breaking the lease.

How can I prevent pests from infesting my rental property?

The best way to prevent pests from infesting your rental property is to keep it clean and free of food and water sources that can attract pests. Seal up any cracks or holes in the walls or floors, and make sure that all doors and windows are properly sealed.


Pest problems can be a major headache for landlords and tenants alike, but by taking prompt action and communicating effectively with tenants, you can address these issues effectively. Remember to inspect the property, identify the pest, take appropriate action, communicate with the tenant, and follow up to ensure that the issue has been resolved. By doing so, you can help to ensure that your rental property remains a safe and habitable living environment for your tenants.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.