Are Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?

Pests are an annoyance for any household. Certain pests can become a menace that not only irritate people living in the home, but they can have lasting damage to the property too. If you’re a homeowner and the owner-occupier, we can help you remove pests through our total pest control service. But what about if you’re a renter? Who is responsible for pest control in a rental property? There’s no one sure answer, as it changes depending on the condition of the property and how the pests came to be.

When is Pest Control the landlord’s responsibility?

As the owner of the property, landlords are responsible for many large-scale treatments such as fumigation. If pests appear naturally as part of seasonal changes or from property damage such as holes in cladding, then the landlord will likely be required to cover the full cost of removal.

If pests appear mid-tenancy, pest control could fall to either party. For instance, if a new tenant moves in and finds out in the first week of being at the property that there are mice finding their way inside or wasp nests under an overhang of the gutter at the back of the house, the landlord should be the one to remedy it.

Landlords are required to leave the property under reasonable conditions and cleanliness according to the Residential Tenancies Act. This includes having the home free from pests such as ants and rodents. The time period typically includes the first few weeks after a new tenancy.

When is Pest Control the tenant’s responsibility?

If the pests became a problem due to negligence or uncleanliness on the tenant’s part, then they need to be the ones to pay for pest control. Sometimes, tenants will try to handle infestations on their own or ignore them, but this can be detrimental to everyone in the long run.

Ignoring pests can make them cause property damage which can hurt the owner, but also those costs will be on the tenant, which can be a financial shock to them too. Many tenants try to remove pests on their own first. This is a suitable option if it works. However, If home remedies and store-bought options aren’t doing the trick, professional pest control can save everyone time and trouble in the long run.

What if it’s unclear how the pests appeared?

In some cases, pests find their way in and no one is really to blame. The landlord did their part to make sure the property clean, and the tenants kept it in good condition. If an infestation occurs in this situation, who is responsible for handling the service?

This can vary depending on the specifics of the tenancy agreement. In many instances, landlords and tenants agree to split the cost. This also tends to be a favourable option when it isn’t addressed in the agreement.

However, keep in mind that pest control is ultimately the property owner’s responsibility. If the tenant doesn’t agree and doesn’t want the service and the landlord can’t prove that the pests are a result of negligence, they may have no choice but to pay for pest control if they want it done.

If you’re looking for an experienced pest control company who can handle all of the pests in the Southland area, give us a call or contact us at Nexus today.