Suggested Housekeeping and Lease Language

Suggestions for residential lease agreements

  • Eliminate the words “exterminate,” “extermination,” and “exterminator.” Replace with “manage pests,” “integrated pest management (IPM),” and pest management professional “PMP.”
  • Specify that residents are to report any pest sightings through the work order system so that the PMP can address the infestation at no cost to the resident. The housing provider will pay for pest control, but the resident must prepare for the service as instructed in writing, let the PMP in to service, and maintain the unit according to the housekeeping standards so that conditions within the unit do not support the growth of the infestation. Failure to do any of these is a lease violation.
  • Within the dwelling unit, garbage must be stored in a bag in a lidded trash receptacle. Trash should be promptly removed from the dwelling unit and placed into trash receptacles. Cans, jars, bottles, cardboard, and paper are not to be stored for extended periods on the property.
  • Consider adopting an IPM Policy for your property.
  • Changing a lease and adopting policy takes time. In the meantime, read through your current lease and leverage existing language to get everyone working on IPM.
  • Prohibit residents from self-treating with over-the-counter and homemade pesticides.

Suggestions for housekeeping and unit inspection standards

  • Walls: Report holes larger than 1/4" to maintenance.
  • Doors: Door sweeps should be intact at the bottom of each door that leads to the outside.
  • Trash and garbage: The trash bag should never overflow in the unit. Cans, jars, and bottles must be rinsed if they are to be stored. Cardboard, and paper are not to be stored on the the property for extended periods.
  • Refrigerator: Must be clean, including the floor underneath and surface on top of the refrigerator.
  • Sink: Dirty dishes must be washed and put away nightly.
  • Lawn: All plants (including trees, bushes, and shrubs) must be trimmed so that they are at least 2 feet away from the side of the building.
  • Windows: Screens should be in place and free from holes.
  • Entire unit should be free of rodent or insect infestation. If you see pests or signs of pests (droppings, damage, eggs, or cast skins), call in a work order to central maintenance at _________________. A pest management professional will address the problem at no cost to you.
  • Cabinets: No expired food.
  • Tub and shower: Should be clean and free of any mildew and mold.

For more information see: Housekeeping Standard and Lease Language