Pest control on HOA-managed properties is typically the responsibility of the home owner's association, at least in part. Read on to learn more about HOA pest control services.
Common Area Responsibilities
Most HOAs automatically provide pest control for common areas as outlined in the HOA bylaws. This means it is the responsibility of the HOA to regularly treat both indoor and outdoor common areas, such as clubhouses and park areas, for pests. Part of the homeowner's dues should be specifically earmarked for ongoing pest control maintenance in these areas.
It's also important to consider major pest control in the annual operating budget, perhaps by setting a rolling fund that rolls over each year and is then replenished if it must be used. For example, bed bugs in an HOA-managed condominium block can require more money than your annual pest control maintenance budget provides.
Private Residence Requirements
For most HOAs that consist of single-family dwellings, the HOA is not required to provide any pest control on the private property of the owners, but it can require under the HOA bylaws that certain problems be addressed, such as rats in the yard. Some HOAs will also work with a pest control company to provide residents with a discount if they sign up for home treatments. Effectively, this is providing the resident a chance to take advantage of a group discount.
In multi-family dwellings, local laws will likely dictate whether the HOA can have private dwellings treated. Some localities allow for all pest control activities, including monthly preventative treatments. Others only allow for major treatments, such as if there is a bed bug or roach infestation to deal with. In other areas, there may be no laws determining entry for pest control, but the HOA bylaws may be the final word.
Prepare for Reasonable Accommodations
If your HOA does need to enter private units for pest control, be prepared for some pushback. Clear bylaws that follow local legal restrictions can help minimize push back or at least allow the HOA to proceed with necessary pest treatments.
Regardless of the law, it is important to keep the members happy when possible, so be prepared to offer reasonable accommodations. If a resident requires a pet or child-safe treatment, it is much easier to provide this option rather than waste HOA time and money on a legal fight, for example.
Contact a pest control service that has experience with working with HOAs. They will know how to help you navigate some of the challenges that can arise in this situation.