Landlord or Tenant: Who is responsible for Pest Control?

When you own a property and live in it you know that you are responsible for all the maintenance, repairs, and pest control. There is no one else who could be responsible. However, if you are renting a property it can be harder to decide whether you are responsible for pest control or the landlord.

The simple answer is that the landlord is responsible. They should have a certificate to confirm pest control procedures have been undertaken. This will involve them contacting a local and reputable pest control company to have an annual inspection performed.

If an issue is noted then the landlord will organize exterminators and have the issue dealt with properly. This is actually part of the reason that landlord’s undertaken an annual or bi-annual inspection of your property.

Because this is where the grey area is.

Tennant Responsibility

It is possible that the landlord has passed this responsibility on to you as the tenant. This can happen if the rent is particularly low. But, it must be stated in the tenancy agreement that you are responsible for the pest control, or the landlord will have to deal with any issue.

Naturally, the tenant must play their part. You should be keeping the house in good condition, in a reasonable state of repair, and clean. If you are not then you are encouraging pests to visit and cause problems. If this is the case then you, as the tenant, will be liable for the pest issue.

In this instance, the landlord may choose to have the matter dealt with and simply recharge you for the cost. Alternatively, they can insist you handle the issue and clean the house and eradicate the pests.

Any pest issue in place before you rent the property must be dealt with by the landlord before you move in.  This eradicates the issue and prevents any disagreement regarding who is handling the pest problem.

Pest problems that arise during the tenancy are harder to apportion. That is why it is essential that tenants keep any property as clean and tidy as possible. The annual inspection by the landlord can confirm this.

However, if you do notice a pest issue and feel you are looking after the property properly, you can take photos of the issue and the cleanliness of your house. The responsibility will then fall on the landlord to deal with the issue., In all likelihood, the problem is one of access and the landlord will need to seal the gaps around the property to prevent pests from getting in.

Final Thoughts

Putting responsibility aside, it can be very unpleasant to live in a property with pests while waiting for the landlord to take action. That’s why the best course of action is often to simply deal with the issue, log what you have needed to do, and then tell the landlord. They should be grateful as this is one less thing that they will need to take care of.