We have a tenant moving out. During the period of her lease, we spray for roaches, bugs, etc. regularly at the other properties. However, the tenant would not allow us to spray at all. We did ask quite a few times when spraying at other units. Each time, she declined. She said, “I don’t have roaches”!
She is moving out. We do not know the condition of the house at this time, nor do we know if there are roaches, bugs, etc. present or not. If there are roaches, etc. present and we have to do a major spraying, can this be deducted from her deposit?
Like so many tenant cases, it can boil down to whether there is a written lease and, if so, what the lease says -if anything.
The smart thing to have done in this case when the tenant refused bug treatment, would be to have the tenant sign a release and agreement to withhold for any extraordinary treatment that results from the refusal of treatment. Retrospect is a bugger.
Of course, the expense can be withheld from the deposit and the tenant can try and do something about it -which is usually not financially feasible. You do have to worry about tenant rights legislation that has some protection for the tenant about returning the deposit. If you withhold, you have to (at a minimum) itemize for what was withheld and immediately refund the difference.