Pest Control: Is it the Landlords Responsibility or Tenant

Whether pest control is the responsibility of the tenant or landlord, it appears to be a grey area across the world.

To avoid future conflict with the landlord, the tenant should thoroughly inspect the property before and soon after moving in. Ants, bees, wasps, birds, cockroaches, fleas, spiders, mice and rats, amongst others, are the responsibility of the landlord at the start of the tenancy. However, termites and white ants will be the responsibility of the landlord throughout the tenancy.

The tenant should list any problems at the beginning of the lease and allow the landlord reasonable time to address the issues. This can and should include photographs. The earlier the tenant advises the landlord the better. Also remember, in law, should legal action ever be taken, both parties need to act reasonably.

Food left out by a tenant or not disposed of correctly can attract cockroaches, ants and rodents, and the landlord cannot be held responsible for the tenant’s negligence.

That said, nesting pigeons for example, are generally not due to the tenant’s actions and therefore the landlord should be responsible for their removal. If there were no pigeons nesting at the start of the tenancy, and they appeared at some stage afterwards, the tenant should notify the landlord as soon as possible, and not wait until the situation gets out of hand.

Termites can affect the structural integrity of a building and create a dangerous environment such as weak wooden floorboards and wooden structures. The tenant should advise the landlord of termites immediately.

The implied warranty is that the landlords must maintain the property in a liveable condition. Therefore, the landlord is responsible to pay for pest control if the infestation is due to natural causes.

Generally, the landlord is responsible for pest and vermin control, such as rats, mice and termites. The exception is when pests are caused by the tenant’s lack of cleanliness. It is their responsibility to dispose of rubbish properly.

Pest Works are experts in pest control, contact Pest Works for a quote on ridding your property of pests.

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