Landlords & Tenants: Who is Responsible for Pest Control?
Pests are a nuisance and many of them carry diseases that can cause serious illness. That’s why it is important to have preventative measures in place and a policy to deal with pests when they occur.
When you’re a property owner and you live in your property it’s easy to see that you are responsible for contacting the pest control experts and getting the problem resolved.
But, when you are renting a property it can be less obvious who should be dealing with the issue.
The Landlord Responsibility
The landlord has a responsibility to all their tenants. This is to ensure that the property is fit for humans to live in. That means it doesn’t leak, has unsanitary plumbing, or has pests that can harm you.
In other words, your landlord should check here and speak to the professionals to make sure pest problems don’t occur. If they do then the landlord will need to take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue. While no one expects instant results, the landlord should keep any tenant informed of what is happening and what progress has been made. This confirms they are dealing with the issue.
But, there are certain circumstances when the landlord isn’t responsible for dealing with pest control and the associated problems.
When The Lease Says Otherwise
In most cases, the leases will state that the property owner is responsible for maintaining the property and dealing with pests. However, there are some instances where the landlord passes the responsibility to the tenant. The reasons why this may happen are very specific to your letting agreement and are likely to be something you have discussed prior to taking the property.
If the lease says it is your responsibility then you’re going to need to eliminate the pest issue. You may even have to confirm it has been done!
If It Is Your Fault
If the landlord is responsible for pest control but feels the pests are there because of something you have done, then they can ask you to tidy it up and resolve the pest problem.
Of course, the biggest problem with this approach is that the landlord will need to show that you are at fault. This is generally difficult although if you never clean the property or have pets that you are not supposed to have, you will make it easier for the landlord.
For the landlord to force you to deal with the pests they will need to ask you first, then show you proof of why the issue is your fault. If this doesn’t bully you into doing it the landlord may need to take further action. This leaves it up to the court to decide who is responsible for the pest situation and, therefore, needs to clear it up.
If the building is owned by one person, regardless of how many apartments there are in it, then the debate is a simple landlord or tenant responsibility. However, if there are several landlords in a building and one property has a pest problem it will need to be established who is responsible. This will allow you to pursue the right party to deal with the pests.