Property Investment News | Pest Control

Are tenants responsible for pest control?

Who is responsible for getting rid of pests in a rental property? This can be a common area of complaint from both landlords and tenants.

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This is understandable because the guidelines for ‘who is responsible for getting rid of pests within a rental property’ is not so black and white. It depends on certain details in a scenario of pest infestation and/or pest problem within a rental property…

Pests may include:
Fleas
Cockroaches
Ants
Spiders (i.e. Redbacks)
Rats and mice
Snakes and possums
Bees and wasps
White ants (termites)

In most circumstances the tenant is usually responsible for the eradication of pests if the infestation occurs after the tenant has moved in and if the infestation was caused by the tenant’s activities or lack of cleanliness.

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The landlord’s obligations include provision of the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness which is fit to be lived in by the tenant. If there are pest problems at the start of the tenancy, it is the landlord’s responsibility to deal with the matter.

This is why it is so important for your Property Manager to ensure their first property condition report is thorough. Property Managers must inspect the rental property and clearly document the premises for cleanliness, including pests.

Tribunals have found that 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. Also if a tenant can prove by way of evidence (e.g. entry condition report and photographs) that the premises was not given to them in a clean state then this in itself is enough evidence to place the responsibility and costs on the landlord.

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We conduct routine inspections throughout a tenancy to check if cleanliness conditions and/or conditions of the property have changed. We recommend that landlords do a treatment prior to a new tenancy commencing and then it is up to the tenant to arrange further/ongoing treatments.

If you have any questions, or need clarification on any of the above, please contact Anna Marten, our Head of Property Management, on 9651 1666 or anna@guardianrealty.com.au.

Important note: Clients should not rely solely on the content of this newsletter. All endeavors are made to ensure the content is current and accurate however, we make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or currency of the content. Readers should seek their own independent professional advice before making decisions.

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