Deterring Termites from a Rental Property: Four Tips for Landlords

Posted on: 22 June 2015

Keeping termites out of any home can be challenging, but keeping them out of a rental property that you don't see on a daily basis can be even more challenging. If you want to keep termites out of a home you own to rent out, check out these ideas. They will help keep your investment property termite free:

1. Make sure all external wood is treated or painted

Treated or painted wood naturally deters termites. If you are adding a deck to your rental property, make sure to use treated wood. If it already has a deck, paint and seal the wood at least once a year, and consider buying small pieces of concrete that you can put under wooden deck supports to break up the connection between the wood and the ground, making it harder for termites to infest your property.

2. Keep excess water away from your property

While you are at the rental property doing your annual inspection of your deck and the property in general, look at the water situation. Termites need water, as well as wood, to thrive. Ideally, you want to ensure all of your gutters and downspouts are working properly to take water away from your property, and you want to ensure the property has no leaks.

Give your tenants a few tips on deterring termites, and advise them to not to leave any containers in the yard that could fill with stagnant water and harbour termites.

3. Keep open lines of communication with your tenants

A yearly walk through of your rental unit and its yard can help a lot in terms of keeping termites away, but during the days and months you cannot be at your property, you need your tenants to keep an eye on it for you.

You need an open line of communication so your tenants tell you about leaks or report issues (such as finding termite droppings) when they happen. If your tenants are scared of you, they won't call you. It's not their property, and if it falls down from termite damage, they will just go rent a new one.

To keep open lines of communication, you need to respect your tenants. If you are always dropping over unannounced, yelling at them for small grievances or doing anything untoward, you indirectly put your property at risk. If you cannot maintain a healthy line of communication between your tenants, consider terminating their lease and getting new tenants.

4. Create landscaping that is easy to manage and naturally anti-termite

The landscaping you have around your home can also affect whether or not termites are attracted to your property. Ideally, you don't want wood mulch around your home. Instead, use rubber mulch.

Also, make sure your landscaping is easy for your tenants to manage. If lots of weeds or debris build up around the perimetre of the home, that can harbour termites. If your tenants cannot handle the landscaping, hire a crew to do it for you. Otherwise, contact a termite control company.