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.

Pests are one of the worst things that can happen to a rental property. They are messy, they spread disease, and they can cause a lot of damage. Bringing you every discomfort imaginable, they often ruin the experience of renting, and they are expensive to eradicate. And because of that, there is no one more upset about a pest infestation than a landlord. Unfortunately, getting rid of pests is not always an easy process and often involves a tug of war between the tenant and the landlord. As a tenant, you may not want to pay for pest control or pest eradication, but you don’t want pests in your home either. So, who is responsible for pest control in a rental property? Is it the landlord, the tenant, or both? Let’s find out the answer to this question and more with this article.

Who Is Responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property?

In any residential dwelling, the landlords are responsible for pest control. This includes rental properties as well. And the responsibility doesn’t end there. Even if your landlord does an amazing job of keeping pests out of your house, he or she must have a good protocol for controlling any pest infestation. This protocol usually involves both interior and exterior inspections for pests. This means that he or she has to inspect the property from time to time to determine whether any pests are present and if so, take the appropriate measures to eradicate them. The tenant’s responsibility for pest control in a rental property is minor, and it mainly concerns taking steps to protect the property. Now unless stated otherwise in the lease agreement, the responsibility of pest control lies on both the landlord and the tenant. However, if the pest infestation is the result of the tenants not following their obligations, the landlord can deduct pest control expenses from the rent payment.

Circumstances When Landlord Is Responsible for Pest Content:

1. When Pest Infestation Can Result in Property Damage:

If there is a pest infestation that can lead to significant damage to the property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to take action. For example, if you have mice or rats in your home, you must have noticed that they are capable of causing significant damage. They can gnaw through walls, and they can also chew through wires, cables, pipes, and hoses. They can damage carpets, and they can also infest cupboards. If left unchecked, rats can cause thousands of dollars worth of property damage. This is why they are a nightmare for a landlord, and they must be eradicated as soon as possible.

2. It’s Been 6 Weeks of Occupation:

Often, the landlord is responsible for pest control in a rental property, and this responsibility is only valid for the first six weeks of the tenant’s stay. After this period, it becomes the tenant’s responsibility to take care of any pest infestation that might occur. However, if the landlord fails to take care of the problem in time, it reverts back to his or her responsibility. Once again, everything depends on the agreement you’ve signed with your landlord. But it is best to have it clear that the landlord must take care of the pests within the first six weeks.

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.

We will examine all of the areas around your home to find the points of entry that pests are using and determine if you have a long term pest problem. We have a team of dedicated professionals that are passionate about our pest control and fumigation services we offer to our customers. Pest Control is not just a service that should be done when an infestation is first seen but should be done regularly as there may be a long term pest issue. Pest Works are experts in pest control, contact Pest Works for a quote on ridding your property of pests.

Many people don’t know whether pest control is the responsibility of the tenant or landlord. This can lead to a lot of conflict between renters and landlords, especially when it comes to infestations.

In many cases, pests such as ants, bees, wasps, birds, cockroaches, fleas, spiders or mice are considered a victim’s responsibility because they come into your home from somewhere else (such as other properties). If you want to avoid future issues with your landlord then you should take care before and soon after moving in by inspecting for any signs of pests.


As we mentioned above, the responsibility for pest control in a rental property lies on both the landlord and the tenant. However, you must remember that it is the landlord who has to take care of the maintenance and repair work of the property. This is why he or she is responsible for pest control as well. The tenant’s role mainly involves making sure that he or she keeps the property clean and tidy and that he or she maintains an excellent relationship with the landlord. It is crucial to do this if you want to stay out of trouble, especially if you don’t wish your landlord to claims his rights as detailed within Rental Housing Act to collect needed compensation for the damage caused by pests. So, if there is an infestation of any kind in your rental property, notify your landlord right away and work together to eradicate it.

As a landlord, you must have a protocol for managing and inspecting pest infestations. You must regularly inspect the property for pests, especially in the most vulnerable areas of the house, such as closets, basements, and storage areas. If any pests are detected, you must take immediate action to eradicate them. This way, you can ensure that your tenants will not face the risk of a nasty infestation, and you can also save yourself a lot of stress and money.

Are you looking for a pest control company?

Pest Works is the leading provider of pest control services in Johannesburg. We are committed to providing our customers with quality service and products that meet their needs. Our team is highly trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in all aspects of residential and commercial pest management. You can trust us to take care of your pests quickly, efficiently, and professionally. We offer a variety of packages so you can choose what best suits your needs at an affordable price. Whether it’s ants or rats we will get rid of them for you!

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