Request pest control for your rental | Free Request Letter | Roost
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Request pest control from your landlord

How to request pest control service with free sample letters

Pest problems happen to even the best of apartments. Maybe they were there when you moved in, or the little buggers came in after.  From cockroaches, bed bugs, rodents, spiders to termites, silverfish, ants, fleas, ticks, and flies — it’s important to learn what you are responsible for vs. your property manager, and how to request pest control from your landlord.

Request pest control: What to do if you discover pests in your apartment

1. Document pest sighting

Write a detailed report including:

  • Where you saw bugs or rodents
  • What type of bugs or rodents you saw
  • Location of how they are getting into your rental (if possible)
  • The date you first noticed a problem
  • Take pictures

2. Document anything that you have done to eliminate pests

If you noticed the pests and decided not to report it to your landlord right away, but tried to eliminate the problem on your own, be sure to outline exactly what you have already tried.

For example:

  • Fogged your apartment
  • Put out ant traps
  • Deep cleaned your apartment

3. Report infestation to your landlord within 24-48 hours in writing

As soon as you notice a problem you’ll want to notify your landlord or property manager.

Send your request through your maintenance system or email, even if it’s a follow-up to an in-person conversation or phone call be sure to send a notification through your maintenance system, by email, or communication outlined in your lease.

4. Allow exterminators hired by your landlord into your unit.

In most cases your landlord should hire a qualified exterminator and give you notice to enter for inspection of a possible pest problem (and any neighboring units). 

Before an exterminator enters your unit, your landlord should give you notice of entry for the exterminator’s inspection.

Your lease will state how much notice must be given, usually 24-48 hours.

Try to be flexible as exterminators can be tricky to schedule especially in peak seasons.

The sooner they are working on your pest problem, the better.

5. Cooperate with landlord requests

Make efforts to comply with any specific control or preventative measures the landlord puts in place.

You may be required to:

  • Dispose of garbage
  • Reduce clutter
  • Remove food sources

Keeping your rental tidy and clean may already be outlined in your lease so any reasonable request your landlord makes to help eliminate your pest problem should be followed.

Roost Tip! Some states allow landlords to charge the cost of extermination to tenants who willfully or recklessly cause an infestation, or who fail to report an infestation in a timely manner. So do your best to cooperate and make sure to document your interactions with your landlord. 

Request pest control sample email to landlord or property manager

Dear [NAME],

Thank you for meeting with me today.  As we discussed, I discovered [PEST NAME] in my apartment unit [NUMBER] yesterday on [DATE]. 


I believe they are [TYPE OF BUG OR RODENT].

They seem to be getting in through the [HOW THEY ARE GETTING IN (like a dryer vent)].

I tried getting rid of the problem by [FOGGING? whatever you tried or delete this line].

I’ve attached pictures for you as proof.

Please contact me as soon as possible to schedule an exterminator.  

You may reach me at any time at [PHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL]. I’ll do my best to work with your schedule and look forward to resolving this issue quickly.


[your name]

Request pest control sample email/letter follow-up for non-responsive landlord or property manager

Dear [NAME]

This is a follow-up with you after our conversation on [DATE] and previous email/letter I sent you on [DATE].

As we discussed I found an infestation of bugs/rodents in [LOCATION THAT YOU FOUND PEST].

I believe they are [TYPE OF BUG OR RODENT].

They seem to be getting in through the [HOW THEY ARE GETTING IN (like a dryer vent)].

I tried getting rid of the problem by [FOGGING? whatever you tried or delete this line].

I’ve attached pictures for you as proof.

This poses a health hazard. It is not only unsanitary; it is unpleasant to live with. I have left you [#] voicemails and sent a previous email regarding this issue and have not heard a response.  

My apartment number [X] in [X APARTMENT COMPLEX].   

Please contact me immediately to schedule an exterminator visit to my unit. I prefer to resolve this issue amicably between ourselves and look forward to a speedy acknowledgement of this issue from you

You may reach me at any time at [PHONE NUMBER/EMAIL]. 


[your name]

Pest control: What is the landlord responsible for?

In most states, landlords are legally required to maintain and offer a pest-free property or habitable housing and bug-infested properties are generally considered uninhabitable.

In addition, most landlords are motivated to keep happy tenants, discourage negative reviews, and maintain property condition/value.

Here’s what your landlord is responsible for:

  • Inspecting the property and removing pests with a professional pest control service as soon as they are notified of a problem.
  • Fix all issues with the property that may be allowing pests to get inside — e.g, cracks, seals, unscreened vents and other openings that pests can get through. 
  • Include a section in your rental lease related to the maintenance of the property for preventing pests.

Most landlords address pest control in the lease agreement.

You may see reference to seasonal maintenance or regular preventative pest control services.

Make sure you are clear on what’s included and who’s responsible for what.

Pest control: What are you responsible for as the renter? 

Just because landlords are responsible for a great deal of pest control, doesn’t mean that you don’t also have responsibilities.

As a tenant you are agreeing in your lease to keep your apartment clean and tidy free of garbage, clutter, and pest attracting food and debris.

Tenants who are not responsible for keeping their apartments clean will most likely be responsible to pay for some if not all of an extermination fee.

Tips before and during your tenancy in an apartment:

  • Keep your apartment clean (especially the kitchen), vacuum and sweep regularly, and empty garbage and recycling each week.
  • Before signing your lease, make sure to check the unit over to ensure there are no signs of pests.  
  • Review your lease agreement carefully to make sure there is a section that specifically addresses how pest control is handled.
  • Make sure to report any signs of pests or structural damage (like carpenter ant activity) to your landlord immediately.  

Examples where your landlord may require you to pay for the extermination or deduct it from your security deposit include: 

  • Your pets bring in a flea infestation while no other units in the complex have an issue with fleas.
  • Your apartment has a roach infestation due to a consistent mess, unwashed dishes, and garbage left in or outside of your apartment. 
  • You travel a lot and bed bugs came home on your luggage. You are the only unit in the building with bedbugs. 

My dog has fleas, am I responsible for a flea infestation in the carpet?

Yes, most likely, if your dog has fleas, you will be responsible for the exterminator fee if you ask your landlord to get rid of them.

To get rid of fleas on your own:

  • Buy vet approved flea protection for him or her.
  • Have your dog professionally shampooed and cleaned.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned and vacuumed.
  • Wash all dog bedding, blankets, your sheets, etc, anything your dog lays on in hot water and dried high heat.
  • Maintain your dog’s flea protection to avoid future problems

Here are some other resources that you might find helpful for keeping up with the dog or cat in your apartment life:

How to work with a landlord who is resistant to helping with a pest problem

If you are just not getting the help you need, first read your lease to be crystal clear on responsibilities laid out for tenants and landlords.

Keep a detailed log of all verbal and written communication with your landlord regarding the pest problem, including:

  • Dates and times of verbal conversations
  • A summary of conversations
  • Copies of all letters and emails exchanged
  • Document all/any actions you have taken to deal with the pest problem
  • Document all/any actions your landlord has taken to deal with the pest problem
  • Document and take pictures of issues with the property that you feel are contributing to the pest problem

You may be allowed to

  • Withhold rent (not allowed in all states)
  • Deduct the costs of extermination from your rent (not allowed in all states)
  • After good effort on your part to remedy the situation, you may have cause to break your lease if the situation is not improved.
  • As a last resort, you may report your landlord to the health board for action
  • Or, in extreme cases, you may be able to sue your landlord in small claims court for out-of-pocket pest control expenses, replacement costs for your items damaged by pests, negligence, and possibly un-in-habitability. Gross infestations of roaches, fleas, or other pests are uninhabitable conditions.

CAUTION: Before you take any of these steps listed above to deal with an unresponsive landlord, you should consider consulting The EPA or your local housing resource to see what options local law allows.

Some states don’t allow tenants to withhold rent or move out without penalty, and others might even put the responsibility on the tenant to exterminate bed bugs.

Tenants who improperly take one of these steps to solve their bed bug problem might face serious consequences, such as owing rent on a unit they’ve moved out of or having their tenancy terminated for wrongfully withholding rent.

Does renters insurance cover pest control?

Unfortunately, most pests are considered a normal renters maintenance and a part of a tenant’s responsibility. Therefore, renters insurance does not cover pests in most cases.

Pests do not fall under the category of an unexpected or sudden event and sometimes it can be very tricky to determine who is ultimately responsible for paying for an extermination.

Getting rid of your pests

If it’s a few bugs here or there, that’s likely on you. But if you identify a pest infestation, make sure to deal with the problem immediately and let your landlord know. The longer a pest issue goes unchecked, the worse the problem will become.

Last Updated: February 29th, 2024