The summer months often conjure thoughts of picnics, sporting events, and lazy days at the lake. But the warm weather also brings more critters into homes. This article covers New York City landlord responsibilities for pest control.
Roaches and rodents are the most common unwanted inhabitants in New York City buildings. Many people, including pest control professionals, make the mistake of relying on pesticides to keep out these invaders. Unfortunately, this approach kills very few of the pests and boosts the immune systems of the survivors.
Instead, landlords and tenants need to address the root of the problem. Deprive them of food, water, shelter and means of transportation, and these invaders will move on.
Pest Control 101 for New York City Landlords
To keep your building unfriendly to pests, follow these steps:
Manage the garbage
Maintain the areas where garbage and recycling are stored, whether inside the basement or behind the building. Store garbage in hard plastic or metal containers with tight-fitting lids, and keep enough receptacles to contain trash between pick-ups. Make sure tenants put trash inside the containers.
Block building entry
Cockroaches can squeeze through the tiniest of cracks. Even a small hole offers ample access for rats and mice. Inspect the property on a regular basis, paying special attention to the areas around the tub, shower and sink. Seal up holes and cracks with caulk, weather-stripping, mesh screening, etc. Also, fix all leaks promptly; vermin love moist areas.
Request tenant help
Remind tenants to keep food and garbage covered and to reduce clutter. In addition, New York City offers several free guides to help tenants and landlords keep their spaces free from pests.
Maintain an active pest control contract
A licensed professional can help perform ongoing inspections to identify pest-friendly conditions. In case of an actual infestation, Environmental Conservation Law only permits application of pesticides in tenant-occupied spaces by a certified commercial applicator. (A person may apply pesticides to his or her own apartment without certification.)
New York City landlords have a responsibility to provide a pest-free environment for tenants. For more information, visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
If you have any questions about your building insurance or how to reduce your risk profile, please call our office at 877-576-5200 or post a comment below.