How to Tell Your Landlord About Mice, Roaches, and Other Pests

Generally speaking, landlord-tenant laws require landlords to ensure that rentals are habitable and safe for tenants. As a result, they’re often responsible for health and safety issues not caused by negligence on the part of the tenant. Since pests like mice and roaches can impact livability, reaching out to your landlord as soon as possible is essential.

While a phone call or text might seem like the quickest option – and isn’t necessarily a bad place to start – it’s usually best to supplement those approaches with something more formal, like a letter or an email. Written requests create a paper trail, and letters and emails come across as more official than a text.

The message doesn’t have to be long to be effective. Primarily, it simply needs to outline what the nature of the issue is and what you’re requesting as far as a remedy. If possible, you’ll want to include some details about when and where you noticed the pest, as that gives them critical context that may make planning a solution easier.

Below, we’ve included a simple template that tenants can use to tell their landlord about mice, roaches, or other pests.

Dear [Landlord’s Name]:

I, [Your First and Last Name], am writing on [Date You Intend to Send the Letter] to inform you of a pest issue with my rental at [Rental Address].

On [Date You Saw the Pest], I saw [Description of the Pest You Saw] in the [Part of the Rental You Noticed the Pest]. Upon further investigation, I believe the problem is [Name of Pest You Believe is Present]. I also noticed [Any Other Details Regarding Pest Activity].

I’m reaching out in an attempt to resolve this pest issue. I’m requesting that you please contact a pest control specialist to assess the situation and devise a solution.

If you’d like to discuss this matter in greater detail, I can be reached by phone at [Your Phone Number] or by email at [Your Email Address].

Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Ultimately, the template above is customizable, allowing you to address the specifics of your issue. Additionally, it’s modifiable. For example, if you are sure about what pest is involved, you can modify the second paragraph to simply read:

On [Date You Saw the Pest], I saw [Name of Pest] in the [Part of the Rental You Noticed the Pest]. Upon further inspection, I noticed [Any Other Details Regarding Pest Activity].

Ideally, you want to provide as much detail as you can. Information like potential entry points into your rental, signs you see beyond a sighting of the pest, or an overview of how many mice, roaches, or other pests you think are present is helpful.

Once you create the letter, you can send it on its way. For email, you’ll have a copy for your records automatically. If you opt for the mail, consider sending it as a certified letter, allowing you to get a mailing receipt and verification of delivery. That way, you have the proof you need should issues arise.