In late April of 2019, released an investigative report stating that a wide variety of rat sightings at Pembrooke on the Green in the southeast area of Denver has resulted in the property owner being fined a total of $3,469 – to date.

Rats in Denver

If you rent or lease property, it is crucial that you understand the health hazards of rodents and that you take the proper measures to ensure that your property is not hindered by these pests.

One of the most productive ways to succeed in this endeavor is to ensure that you have a property manager in place that is attentive to such details.

Continue reading to learn more about this case and to learn how rodents can negatively impact your tenants.

The Complaints

Since January of 2018, there have been a total of 16 complaints issued to the Denver Public Health and Environment Department about rodent sightings at the Pembrooke on the Green apartment complex. Approximately half of these refer to sightings that occurred within the actual residential units of the complex.

Rodent inspections were conducted and the unit failed. The owner had to report to court, where evidence of burrow holes, droppings from rodents, and even a dead rodent was presented that was discovered at the complex.

The owner was then fined $469 and was directly ordered to remove the rodents. The owner was charged – yet again – when the department did not see progress.

This time, they were charged with failure to comply, failure to keep the property free from rodents, failure to maintain clean and sanitary areas, and failure to maintain the property’s dumpster area so that rodents were not attracted to the area.

They were then fined another $2,000 – which is equivalent to what tenants in a one-bedroom pays for about 2.5 months in rent. Now, another $999 has been fined and weekly inspections will now be performed weekly.

Diseases Spread by Rodents

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), rodents are capable of spreading in excess of 35 different diseases to humans – either by direct contact or through contact with substances left behind by the rodents.

Examples include saliva, feces, and urine. Tenants are covered by a Colorado state statute that is referred to as the “Warranty of Habitability Act”. This states that property owners must keep all rentals in livable condition.

This means that the rental should be free from the threat of rodents.

Tenants who face habitation with rodents may call 311 to file a complaint – which can be very costly for you.

The following list contains information about the most common diseases that can be spread either directly or indirectly by rodents:

  • Hantavirus – This is a type of viral disease that is spread by inhaling dust that contains urine or droppings from rats, coming in contact with feces or urine from rats, or getting bit by a rat.
  • Rat-Bite Fever – This can be transmitted by being scratched or bit by a rat. It may also occur through contact with a deceased rat.
  • Leptospirosis – This is a bacterial-based disease that is found in swimming water or drinking water.
  • Salmonellosis – This disease is spread by consuming food or water that has been contaminated by the bacteria found in feces of rats.
  • Colorado Tick Fever – If a tick has had a blood meal of a woodrat, it could transmit this disease to people it attempts to take a blood meal from.
  • Cutaneous Leishmaniasis – This is spread by a sand fly that has fed on a woodrat that is wild.
  • The Plague – This is transmitted by fleas that have fed on infected rats.

Why You Need a Property Manager

If you run a rental unit, it is imperative that you have a property manager that is attentive to pest control and ensuring the cleanliness and sanitation of your rentals.

In taking this measure, you will be providing your tenants with a livable area, free from disease.

Additionally, you will avoid costly fees, fines, and other sanctions that could prove detrimental to the financial success of your business and your reputation as a property owner.

We Can Help

We here at Pioneer Property Management take great pride in providing property owners with high-quality property management services. Whether it be tenant screening, background checks, pest control, collecting rent monies, or advertising – we can help you with all of your needs.

For more information on our services, contact us today by calling