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Who is Responsible for Pest Control – the Tenant or the Landlord?
- Published: Feb 25/2021
- Last update: Apr 19/2023
- 4min read
- Views: 142
Pest control is usually one of those things people don’t like to discuss. And for good reasons – even though pests are widespread, most people believe they will not have to deal with this issue at one point or another. And most people are wrong.
Pests are so common that it should come as no surprise that in some Australian states, landlords are obligated to perform pest inspections at least once a year (especially in regards to termites and cockroaches). However, it’s not always clear to most people who is responsible for footing the pest control bill, so Fantastic Services decided to shed a little light on the matter.
Tenants are responsible for the overall day-to-day maintenance of the property. Things, such as cleanliness, are not the landlord’s responsibility. Appliance safety and outlets that the landlord does not own are also under the tenant’s management.
The tenant needs to make sure the conditions they live in do not cause foreseeable problems (for example, leaving food around the house and living in an unclean environment can lead to pests, which is easy to predict).
When the tenant’s actions have directly or indirectly led to the pest problem, they are the one who has to pay for the pest control.
In cases, where the pest problem’s origin is easily traced to the tenant’s negligence or actions (and the cause can usually be determined relatively quickly), it’s the tenant’s responsibility to cover the pest control bill.
If the tenant has a pet, then the likelihood of having a pest problem increases. Not only are fleas often associated with pets, due to the latter being commonly their host, but also, your furry friend’s food and water bowls are one of the leading attractants for a variety of other pests.
Since food, water, and safety are the three main things pests are looking for in a human home, the pets’ bowls provide two out of the three. And talking about fleas, their host’s blood and soft fur supplies them with all three. In those instances, the responsibility falls upon the tenant’s shoulders. To note here, the tenancy agreement generally stipulates very clearly this if the tenant is going to rent the property along with their pet (cat or dog).
Landlords are responsible for maintaining the exterior and structural integrity of the building. They are also responsible for everything working correctly inside the home (things like electricity, water, gas, etc.). In case any appliances are owned by the landlord, they are also their responsibility.
Finally, a landlord should also ensure the accommodation’s cleanliness and living conditions before a new tenant moves in.
In all Australian states, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to handle potential issues with pests that may threaten the building’s structural integrity. By law, this only concerns termites, but in reality, it might also involve other insects that nibble on wood, such as carpenter ants, carpenter bees and wasps, or Australian wood cockroaches.
Woodworms may also be a problem, so a good practice is to cover all fronts, even when the law doesn’t require it. A regular termite inspection (which is needed once a year) should reveal other potential wood pests.
In case a pest infestation is discovered within a month of the new tenant moving in, it’s also the landlord’s responsibility to pay for the treatment. It’s a good idea to track how often there are pest infestations discovered on the premises and under what conditions.
Get your property inspected by professional pest controllers!
Are you prepared to have this conversation with your landlord? Do you have any other unanswered questions? Leave a comment down below!