In commercial rental properties, it can be unclear who is responsible for managing pest infestations — the tenants or the landlords. This article illuminates the responsibilities of both tenants and landlords when it comes to tackling issues with pests.

In commercial rental properties, landlords are responsible for keeping the property habitable by taking reasonable steps to prevent a pest infestation. This can be disputed if the tenant is attracting pests with the type if work they do, such as storing food which would attract rats and cockroaches.

Check your lease agreement and see if pest control is specifically outlined and who takes responsibility. If there is no mention, you should be able to get the landlord to pay.


Responsibilities of a commercial landlord

The responsibilities of a commercial landlord are as outlined in the lease. Different landlords will have different responsibilities.

Here are the basic responsibilities of a commercial landlord.

  • Ensure that the premises meet all the local and state building codes.
  • Safety standards for fire, gas, and electrical accidents occur.
  • Management of asbestos
  • Ensure the property meets the minimum energy efficiency standards.
  • Making required structural repairs
  • Paying for commercial property insurance.
  • Maintain the structural integrity of the property
  • Make sure the residential area is safe and habitable.

Responsibilities of a commercial tenant

Tenants getting into commercial property leases must study the lease properly. There may be responsibilities assigned to the tenant. Once the lease is signed, they are deemed to agree with the terms therein.

Here are the basic responsibilities of a commercial tenant.

  • Pay rent as agreed.
  • Ensure the safety of your customers and visitors.
  • Maintain the premises in habitable conditions.
  • Repair any damage that is not the fault or responsibility of the landlord.

Pests you can find in commercial rental property

Depending on your location, your business and the type of property you work in, here are some of the most common commercial pests.

  • Rodents. Rats and mice are common commercial pests. A rodent infestation is likely to cause electrical damage as rats chew the electricity wires and insulation. Rats and mice also leave droppings that may cause a bad smell on your premises.
  • Flies. They will be found in your washrooms and other areas of the business that may be dirty or produce a smell. A flies infestation can cause your business to lose customers. The appearance of flies implies dirt.
  • Cockroaches. They are common in food businesses and are hard to get rid of. They transmit a lot of diseases.
  • Termites. A termite infestation destroys the wooden parts of the building and other furniture. Unfortunately, you realize that you have a termite infestation when the damage is already done.
  • Spiders. A lot of people have a phobia of spiders. It could be the employees in your business or customers.
  • Bedbugs. They are not only found in homes anymore. They can be in the office or on the train or bus. They are hard to get rid of and need a professional to exterminate.

How to prevent pests infestation in your commercial property


Hire a professional

They will help to assess where the pests come from and how to prevent them from infesting your business premises.

After the assessment, the professionals will create pest management control for your business. It will help improve how you take care of your business and prevent the occurrence of future pest infestations.


Clean and open-plan business premises help to prevent pest infestation. Whether it’s an office or a restaurant, ensure that your working area only has the necessary items.

Pests hide in cracks and crevices that may be hidden by excess clutter. The pests will thrive out of sight and eventually cause a sudden infestation.

Let your floors, desks, and cabinets stay clean. Only keep in the office items that are used regularly.

Proper storage

Ensure that your business implements up-to-date storage practices. How you store your inventory determines how serious a pest infestation your business is likely to suffer.

Proper storage practices ensure that you store all garments in airtight bags that prevent infestation by bedbugs, moths, rodents, and other pests.

When storing food, keep them in the bag you bought them in. If you open it, store the remainder in airtight containers with tight lids.

Also, add shelves in your storage area. They ensure that the area is clean and organized, and make it easy to reach and identify stored goods.

Shelves should leave some space from the wall to enable you to spot and control pest infestations early.

Regular cleaning

Your business premises should be kept clean at all times. It prevents rats and other pests from infesting it.

As part of cleaning, the business should set up a break room where staff can eat. Also, trash cans should be emptied regularly in a day to keep them clean and safe from pest attraction and infestation.

Also, keep the business premises dry. Wipe any wet spots or moist areas. Keep the taps tightly closed and the windows open for proper drying and air circulation.

How do pests access commercial rental properties


Windows are essential parts of a commercial property. They allow natural light into the building and fresh air. However, they are also an entryway for pests.

Therefore, always ensure that the windows in your commercial rental properties have screens that block pests from accessing your premises.

Inspect your windows and repair any holes in them or the screens. Also, ensure that they close properly.

When you are closed, ensure that all the windows are properly closed.


Some pests are likely to get into your business premises on people. Some pests are too small to be noticed easily and can be found anywhere. On the train, bus, or even in your car. For example bed bugs.

Bedbugs can hitch a ride on either your customers or employees. If they sit at a table or desk, they can live there.

They can hide on carpets, tables, and desks. They lay hundreds of eggs and multiply fast to cause an infestation.


Many businesses are now allowing pets on their premises. The pets can lead to pest infestation if they are not well taken care of.

Deliveries to the business

Depending on the type of business or supplies you order and its place of origin, pests are likely to be part of the delivery.

You are likely to bring termites into your business premise if you order wood or paper. It is likely to happen when you are remodeling your office space. Termites can hide in wood and paper.

Other packages can deliver bedbugs while larger deliveries may also cause a rat and mice infestation.


If you are on the ground level, ensure your doors are closed at all times. If you cannot keep your door closed, ensure that you clean the doorway regularly.

Small pests can crawl through open doors at any time. Even if they do not infest your business premises, they are likely to cause discomfort to staff or customers.

Nearby buildings and offices

If there is a construction project near your commercial property, it is likely to cause a pest infestation.

Additionally, if other businesses do not take care of their premises well, an infestation there can spread to your business.

How to hire a professional pest control service for your commercial rental property

If you are struggling with a pest infestation in your commercial rental property and are looking for a reliable pest control expert, here is a free service you can use.

Private Exterminator is a free tool that connects you to professional pest exterminators in three easy steps.

  1. Enter your zip code
  2. Fill in the form to offer details on the kind of service you need.
  3. Receive 3 quotes from professional exterminators for the service

From the three quotes, choose and contact one of the exterminators to remove the pests from your commercial property.

Why you should hire a professional pest control service for your commercial property

  • They have access to the best chemicals to kill the pests. Some chemicals can only be sold to certified and licensed people or companies. These chemicals are effective in killing pests and preventing further infestation.
  • Can find the source of the infestation. A termite infestation is only recognized when you see the termites. However, they have been in or near your office for longer. Professional exterminators can find the source of pests and remove them to prevent infestation.
  • Peace of mind. Once they fumigate your office they will be back to assess their results and declare your office infestation free.
  • Speed. Professional exterminators have the training to identify and stop an infestation quickly. If you DIY, you may not remove the infestation as quickly as professionals would.
Scott Williams
Author: Scott Williams - Scott is a pest control expert and has worked in the industry for over 20 years, most recently in NYC, where he runs a pest control business. Scott loves to write articles, share his knowledge on exterminator services, and advise on safe DIY method.