As you’re about to rent a property, you obviously have one too many things to think about that it’s easy to miss out on a few details. Although prices and payments may be a primary concern in your mind throughout, there are minor concerns that you will have to ponder as soon as you’re serious about signing the lease contract. One of those concerns involves pest control and it begs the question, “who should shoulder this particular expense: the tenant or the landlord?”

But the fewer conflicts between you and the landlord, the better. Of course, no one wants to rent out a place to a tenant who constantly nitpicks. Conversely, no one wants to rent from a landlord who leaves problems unresolved. And when it comes to pest infestation, it’s best to remember that it isn’t anyone’s fault so determining who takes care of it should be a joint effort in the end.


Setting Priorities Straight

Although it is important to know which side is responsible for getting pest control treatments done, it’s equally crucial to understand the gravity of the problem at hand. At the end of the day, you should never allow such uninvited, unhygienic guests to share your space with you as they pose a major threat to everyone’s health. That means remedying the issue should be the first course of action, regardless of who is deemed responsible for it.

If you’re the tenant and you have an unresponsive landlord, don’t wait until cockroaches spoil your food and get you sick. This means either trying DIY methods or, better yet, calling for help from pest control experts. On the other hand, if you’re a landlord and you deal with the matter before it gets worse, you increase the appeal of your property to potential tenants as well as leave the impression that you care about their well-being.


Who Is Responsible for Pest Control in a Rental Property

For the most part, this concern remains to be a tug-of-war between landlords and tenants. This is mainly because of the fact that present legislation on the matter is open to interpretation and isn’t really clear on responsibilities. It doesn’t help that the cause of infestation is typically subject to dispute.

But to maintain that the premises of the rental property stays in a habitable and safe state, it’s hard to argue the idea that pest control has to be the general responsibility of both landlords and tenants. As a matter of fact, many cases have been brought to a tribunal where the interpretation of the tenancy legislation led to either a favourable or unfavourable judgement for the tenant.

Although it’s generally accepted that property owners are responsible for vermin control, the exception to this norm is when an infestation has been caused by a tenant’s poor housekeeping that leads to a lack of cleanliness in the space leased. This means that if a tenant hasn’t religiously disposed of perishable rubbish or has engaged in activities that are likely attracting pests into an apartment, a property manager can argue that the tenant has to shoulder the subsequent pest control service. In such cases, however, it’s important that a timeline of events leading to the discovery of the pest problem is established beforehand. 

If the tenant has booked a pest inspection soon after taking occupancy and reports an infestation, this is taken as a reasonable timeframe to place the responsibility of doing pest control squarely in the shoulders of the landlord. This has to be proven by way of solid evidence, such as photographs and entry condition reports, to back up the claim that an apartment or house for rent hasn’t been handed to them in a ‘clean’ state. With concrete evidence, the responsibility and cost for pest control is clearly put on the landlord in question.


Guide to Responsibility

There is generally an accepted guide on who may be responsible once a pest infestation has been discovered. The person responsible for each scenario changes, depending on the individual circumstances, history of pest inspection reports, as well as background of the property in question.



In certain cases, the responsibility of getting pest extermination done falls on who may potentially be causing the problem. Typically, finding the likes of ants, bees, wasps, spiders, cockroaches, fleas, and mice/rats at the start of the tenancy will make the landlord be the responsible party. The arrival of the tenant may have little to do when the case is that there is an ongoing pest infestation way before they set foot in a property or apartment. However, if previous pest inspection reports reveal that the place hasn’t had history of hiding such menaces and they suddenly appear during the tenancy, it is often taken that the responsible party will be the tenant/s. In this case, it becomes clear how crucial it is to get independent pest inspections done before one rents a particular place.


Landlord’s Responsibility

Preventing pest entry into the rental property is a task that primarily falls under the property maintenance category. This means that it’s the landlord who should be held responsible for making sure that particularly troublesome species like birds, possums, and termites are kept at bay even when no one has taken up the property’s lease offers.


Handling Pest Problems Responsibly Is a Joint Effort

Whichever party is responsible for calling in pest exterminators have to remember that removing these disease carriers has to be the primary goal. Although who spends what is a big concern when you’re about to affix your signature in a property lease agreement, saving a few bucks isn’t really economical, especially when your health and safety are put at risk because you’re sharing the rental space with unsanitary pests.

Once it has been settled which party is responsible for getting pest control done, remember to bring in nothing but the most capable pest control teams around. Call us today and find out how we help solve pest problems.