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04 Nov. 19

Who should pay for pest control services? The tenant or landlord?

If you’re renting or leasing an apartment, who is responsible for paying for pest control services? Should you or your landlord pay for pest control? Read this guide.

When a property is rented, one of the most overlooked aspects is home pest control. Thus, the following questions should be considered before renting a property: 

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  • Is the property pest-free? 
  • Are there any structural issues that could encourage the entry of pests? 
  • Does the rental contract include any details about pest inspections or treatments already conducted? 
  • Who is responsible for keeping the property pest-free – the landlord or tenant?

Before going deep with the roles of both parties, here are the common pests that are most likely to affect a property.

Cockroaches, bed bugs, rodents, spiders, termites, silverfish, ants, fleas, ticks, and flies are some of the most common pests. 

Some areas tend to attract certain pests more depending on the location. For instance, in the South, termites are the most common pests found in homes.

Now, let’s understand the responsibilities of the landlord, as well as the tenant, when it comes to keeping a rental property free from pests.

What is the landlord responsible for? Is your landlord responsible for paying for pest control?

The landlords are legally required to maintain and offer a pest-free property, which makes the questions posted above highly relevant to this. 

It’s a landlord’s responsibility to provide a premise in a clean and habitable state, of course, free from pests. The exception occurs when the presence of the pest was caused by a tenant’s poor housekeeping or lack of cleanliness.

The tenants are more likely to sign the lease renewal and the cost of searching for new tenants is eliminated when the property is well-maintained.

Also, happy tenants mean positive reviews, which can help attract new tenants easily.

The specified responsibilities of the landlord include property inspection. If any pest infestations exist, it should be removed thoroughly by a professional home pest control service provider before a new tenant occupies the property. 

Consecutively, all structural issues in the property such as cracks, seals, or any openings in doors, windows, or torn screens should be addressed before the property is rented. Always remember that pests, such as mice can enter the home from holes as small as the size of a pencil. 

Lastly, the lease or contract should include a specific section related to the maintenance of the property, which has been carried out for preventing pests.

If a tenant reported an issue very soon after taking occupancy, then this would be a reasonable timeframe to place the responsibility in the hands of the landlord to affect treatment.

What is the tenant responsible for?

Tenants are partly responsible when it comes to pest control of a rental property. 

Generally, tenants are held responsible for a pest infestation, such as fleas, which are caused by pets, but for home pest control in general, here’s what you can do on your end. 

Before signing the rental contract, the property should be inspected with great care to see if there are any signs of pests. 

As a tenant, upon receiving the rental agreement, it should be reviewed thoroughly, and the landlord should be asked about pest control if nothing is mentioned in the contract. 

The property, once rented, should be kept clean and free from pests, as follows: 

  • Regular cleanup should be done because clutter and carelessness can give way to pest infestations. 
  • Food containers should be kept properly sealed when not in use.
  • There should be no water stagnation around the property. 
  • Always keep the garbage bins covered.
  • Dispose of all garbage properly and follow the garbage disposal and collection rules of your new community.

Therefore, pest problems arising from poor housekeeping and uncleanliness, e.g., failure to dispose of rubbish, or caused by the tenant (fleas from pets, as mentioned above) are the responsibility of the tenant.

These are scenarios that the owner can inevitably argue, as this is part of the tenant’s responsibility on home pest control. 

Any structural damage or signs of pests should be immediately reported to the landlord and necessary action should be taken to terminate the pests. This can help avoid any expensive and time-consuming efforts in the long run. 

Going back to the question…

To answer the question of whether it is the landlord’s or tenant’s responsibility when it comes to keeping the property pest-free, both actually have a responsibility, and both should fulfill it.

The landlord is responsible for renting out a property that’s clean and pest-free, while the tenant is responsible for keeping the property pest-free once he/she moves in.

Regular inspection can help in the early identification of any signs of a pest infestation. This enables both parties to save a lot of time, money, and effort in the future.

Property management companies should seek the services of professional home pest control experts when required, as this is more likely to give effective results.

Do you need help?

For any enquiries, contact the Masters of Pest Control Sydney. We provide safe and effective pest control services throughout Sydney.

We organise warranties for our pest control services to protect Sydney homes and strata properties.

Call (02) 8007 4666 to consult our pest experts!