Landlord or Tenant Who Bears the Responsibility of Pest Control?

One thing that one would never want to live with is pests. Pests are a nuisance; they ruin the house, endanger health, and once the home is infested, it could be costly to eliminate. Pest and pest control responsibilities have often been a reason for discord between the landlord and the tenant. Landlords blame the tenants for bringing the pest into their property; likewise, tenants insist that pests were present in the property before they arrived. 

Image by Virvoreanu Laurentiu from Pixabay

Conflicts can be avoided by clarifying and clearly stating the pest control’s responsibilities before the lease period starts. The legislation does not oblige either party to fix the issue when the outbreak occurs; therefore, it is essential to define the landlord responsibilities and tenant responsibilities in the lease contract itself. This post will discuss the same in detail. 

The Tenants Responsibilities

It is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that the infestation does not occur. Keeping the premises clean and early detection and resolution of pest issues could keep the pests away. Proper storage of food, clearing cobwebs, setting mouse traps and using sprays is essential to discourage any infestations. However, suppose the situation is terrible, and you suspect that the problem existed before you moved. In that case, it is best to discuss it with the landlord. 

In case the landlord does not take responsibility for the pre-existing issue, it is essential to consult the state tenant authority for advice. Call the pest control service provider only when the issue of who will pay for the services has been cleared between the tenant and the landlord. Tenants also have a responsibility to ensure that the house is free of ants, cockroaches, spiders, bees and wasps when you vacate the house. 

Image by Beverly Buckley from Pixabay

The Landlords Responsibilities 

The landlord is responsible for the ongoing pest issues. It is best to have the property inspected and eliminate pest issues before leasing the property. It reduces the chances of any future disputes. Pest issues like termites are the property owner’s responsibility; it is in the landlord’s interest to eliminate the problem before it causes severe damage to the property. The landlord must add pest clauses into the lease agreement. 

Common pest scenarios landlords are responsible for are possums, birds nesting in the house. Problems like ants, bees, wasps, cockroaches, fleas, and bedbugs when leasing the property are the landlord’s responsibility. Termites are the landlord’s responsibility irrespective of when they are detected. All issues need to be resolved before renting the property. 

The Lease Contract 

In case the pest issue arises mid-lease, both parties must negotiate and amicably reach a common understanding. It is best to resolve the issue before the problem gets unmanageable. In case of an infestation problem, it is essential to refer to the tenancy agreement. If the landlord and the tenant have been prudent enough to sign the contract, they would have clearly stated each party’s responsibilities towards the issues.  

Image by David Hablützel from Pixabay

In cases where the house is being leased out to pet owners, the landlords make it a point to specify in the contract that the tenants will be responsible for fumigating the home for fleas. Likewise, the tenant may inspect the property and have a clause added to the agreement to protect themselves if they suspect any future issues. Professional pest control companies also provide inspection services to find potential pest infestation issues in the property. 

Handling Pest Disputes in Rental Homes 

When the problem occurs, it is essential to discuss it with the property manager or the landlord and negotiate to resolve it. Keep a record of all communication and verbal discussions and take photos of the issue date the photographs. Tenants can also contact tenancy tribunals for further guidance to resolve the issue. 

Image by shammiknr from Pixabay


Both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for ensuring that the property remains free from all pest infestations. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that it should be free of any pest infestations when the property is leased. At the same time, it is the tenant’s responsibility to keep the property clean to avoid pest infestations 


More Reading

Post navigation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *