9 Reasons Mice Run Rampant in Rentals

Pest Control Challenges for Landlords

Mouse house
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Pest control is something most landlords will have to deal with. Staying on top of this maintenance issue is very important. Although they are small creatures, once you have a mouse problem on your property, it will make it much harder to find and keep tenants. Learn nine reasons mice run rampant in rentals.

What Do Tenants Want in a Rental?

Tenants pay rent. In exchange for this rent, they expect certain things. One of these expectations is to live in a property that is clean and safe for them and for their family. If there is a bug or rodent problem at your property, the tenant will assume that you do not care about property maintenance and that their health and safety is not a priority for you.

Tenants who feel that you do not care will in turn not care. They will be less concerned about taking care of the property and less likely to renew their lease. You do not want to give your current tenants a reason to move, and you do not want to discourage good tenants from renting your property.

9 Reasons Mice Run Rampant

For a homeowner, a mouse is a nuisance, but for a property investor, a mouse problem could be a disaster. There are several reasons why mice cause such problems for landlords and why it is so important for you to inspect your property for signs of mice. frequently 

  1. Very Common
    1. Mice are common in all areas of the country, from east to west and north to south. Also, they enjoy the suburbs just as much as they do the city, so no area is immune from them.
  2. Can Navigate Tight Spaces
    1. Mice can fit through crevices as small as ¼ of an inch. Therefore, it can be very difficult to make your property 100% mouse-proof. The larger your property, the more places they can hide.
  3. Reproduce Quickly
    1. If you are conscious of the signs of mice, you may be able to catch a small problem before it becomes a huge one. Mice breed very quickly. According to Wikipedia, a female mouse can have between five and ten litters a year, and each litter can produce between three and fourteen mice, so you can see how this problem can quickly get out of control.
  1. Larger Property, More Places to Hide
    1. The larger your property, the more places a mouse has to hide. They can hide in walls, underneath cabinets, in basements or in attics. Since mice are not that large, it can be hard to catch them, especially when you have tenants in the property whose lifestyles you have to navigate around.
  2. Tenant Retention
    1. Chances are, quality tenants are not going to want to live in a property with a rodent problem. Since your goal is to rent to quality tenants, you will want to fix any problems that could keep new tenants from renting your property or could keep current tenants from renewing their leases.
  1. Tenants Don’t Know What to Look For
    1. Since mice are nocturnal, a tenant may not even be aware that there are mice in their unit. A tenant may not notice subtle signs, such as a small tear in a bag of food or a couple of small mouse pellets in a corner. Educating your tenants on the signs of mice can help you catch a problem at your property.
  2. Tenants Not as Careful
    1. There is something to be said for the pride of ownership. Since a tenant is only renting your property, they may not be as careful with it as they would if it were their own. This problem becomes larger in multifamily properties. Garbage that is not properly disposed of, or that is located too close to the home, can attract mice to the property.
  1. Tenant Health
    1. Mice can also spread several diseases which could threaten the health of your tenants. These diseases include hantavirus, salmonellosis, and even the bubonic plague. You will want to avoid vacuuming up any mouse dropping because it could release disease into the air. Instead, you should sweep up any droppings to help prevent any disease from going airborne.
  2. Can Damage Your Property
    1. ​Mice can spread disease and unnerve tenants, but they can also damage your property. They can chew through walls and plastic water pipes, which can cause leaks. Their urine can also cause damage to floors and ceilings.