Pest Control – Landlord or Tenant Responsibility?

The issue of pest control is one of the major areas of misunderstanding and dispute between landlords and tenants mainly because legislation is subject to interpretation or there is a difference of opinion as to the cause of pest infestation.

Both landlord and tenant bear responsibility for the maintenance of the premises, making sure it is in a state of reasonable repair, safety and cleanliness.

This article discusses the landlord’s responsibility and the tenant’s responsibility regarding pest control.

Every lease agreement/tenancy is different, so who will be in charge will depend on the individual situation, the history of the property and what has been specified in the condition report. But below is a good guide to follow on who is responsible when a pest infestation occurs. 

Pests

Landlord is responsible

Tenant is responsible

Ants If existing at the beginning of the tenancyIf existing during the tenancy
Bees and wasps If existing in a wall cavity or a similar area

If existing at the beginning of tenancy

If existing during the tenancy
Birds To seal off any entry points 
Cockroaches and spiders If existing at the beginning of the tenancyIf existing during the tenancy
Mice and rats If existing at the beginning of tenancyIf existing during the tenancy
Termites At the beginning and throughout the tenancy

Tell Us How We Can Help You With Your Pest Problems

"*" indicates required fields

 
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tenant Responsibility

As a tenant, you are required to keep your premises free of pests by keeping it clean and addressing a pest problem immediately. Basic cleanliness includes storing your food properly, not leaving used dishes and kitchenware overnight and throwing your garbage regularly. You can also set mouse traps or use insect sprays or baits, as you see fit.

But if the infestation becomes worst and you think that the infestation was there before you moved in, inform the landlord or property manager immediately. If the landlord says that you must deal with the problem, seek the advice of Queensland’s Residential Tenancies Authority.

Before calling for a  residential pest control service, speak to your landlord to settle which party will shoulder the payment.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to fix any existing pest issues before signing up a tenant. The best thing to do is to conduct a pest inspection of the rental property, so that the responsible party will be clear if an infestation does occur later in the tenancy.

It is also highly recommended for landlords to adding pest clause in the lease agreement, especially if the tenant has pests, to ensure fumigation is done at the end of the lease.

The landlord is typically responsible for making sure ants, wasps, cockroaches, bedbugs, and other vermin are not present when the tenants move in and that birds or possums are not nesting in any part of the house. In the case of termites, it is the responsibility of landlord regardless of when the infestation occurs.

Landlord Responsibility

It is the landlord’s responsibility to fix any existing pest issues before signing up a tenant. The best thing to do is to conduct a pest inspection of the rental property, so that the responsible party will be clear if an infestation does occur later in the tenancy.

It is also highly recommended for landlords to adding pest clause in the lease agreement, especially if the tenant has pests, to ensure fumigation is done at the end of the lease.

The landlord is typically responsible for making sure ants, wasps, cockroaches, bedbugs, and other vermin are not present when the tenants move in and that birds or possums are not nesting in any part of the house. In the case of termites, it is the responsibility of landlord regardless of when the infestation occurs.

Pest Control in Queensland

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 provides rules and regulations covering pest control in rented properties.

If the house was pest-free at the beginning of the tenancy, the renter has the duty to make sure the property is in its original condition at the end of the tenancy.

However, the landlord cannot obligate the renter to meet certain requirements, including:

  • Vacate the house in a better condition than it was in on the first day the tenant moved in.
  • Hire a pest control company chosen by the landlord
  • Pay a set fee for a pest control service.
  • Utilise a pest control product specified by the landlord.

How to settle a pest control dispute? 

If the pest issue continues to be unresolved between you and your landlord, try to negotiate on an outcome that is acceptable to both parties. In case a resolution is not reached, either you or your landlord can file a complaint with the proper state tribunal for a decision. 

The responsibility for pest control in a rented property can lead to a dispute between landlord and tenant if legislation is not clear on which party is responsible for fixing the issue and paying for it, and/or the lease agreement is vague on the issue. 

If a pest control issue arises, use your signed lease agreement as guide or look up your state Residential Tenancies Act. 

Pest control is unavoidable as it is a normal aspect of renting a property. Pest infestation has various economic and health implications on both the landlord and tenant that it should be addressed immediately to avoid a severe outbreak, regardless of who discovers it first. 

Copyright ©2023 Bob Gunn - Termite Solutions for Residential & Commercial. All rights reserved | Legal & Disclaimer | Sitemap