The rules surrounding the responsibilities when it comes to pest control are somewhat muddy. In some states the onus is placed completely on the tenant to maintain appropriate pest control measures, whereas in other states there is a requirement that pest control and carpet cleaning services have been carried out before the tenant moves in.
The rules differ between different agencies and states, and between individual guidelines so it’s worth asking your agency directly what their exact policy is. These are some areas of common ground though, and Pegasus Pest Control explains these below.
When the tenant is responsible:
- If the tenant has pets they are usually responsible for pest control since pets attract fleas and their food bowls attract other pests. Additionally if the tenant has pets at the property, the tenant is often required to have professional carpet cleaning carried out at the end of the lease.
- If it has been found they are the cause of the pests around the property. Cleaning duties or from pets.
- If there is a clause in the tenancy agreement that stipulates that they are responsible for any pest control.
- Minor sightings of cockroaches, spider and other insects are usually the tenant’s responsibility.
What the tenant can do
- If the landlord is refusing to pay for pest control, it might be worth covering the expense yourself and keeping the receipt. The pest control technician should be able to shed some light on the cause of the infestation, and provide a written document. If the infestation is not the cause of the tenant the landlord may agree to repay the cost, or decide to allow reduced rent payments to cover the cost.
- Ask about pest control before signing a lease, and if possible negotiate for an annual pest control treatment. You property manager should be happy to request this to the landlord.
When the landlord is responsible:
- Landlords are responsible for timber and termite control measures in ALL states. This means that this cost can never be passed onto the tenant.
- Landlords are typically responsible if infestations of pests (vermin, cockroaches) are discovered in the property within the first month of moving into the home.
- If there are plagues of pests moving through the area at one given time, e.g bees, locusts, river rats or snakes.
Advice for landlords
When all is said and done, it’s in your interest to maintain your investment to be free from pests. Often having tenants through the property can increase the likelihood of pests, and most tenants will choose not to pay for professional pest control. Ultimately it’s your property and the your responsibility to maintain it in a liveable state.
It’s also essential that just because your property is being rented, you don’t overlook the need for annual termite inspections. Sometimes the activities of tenants or the state of your property (e.g leaking pipes) can attract termites, and tenants are less likely to take the time to identify if there could be signs of termites than you would as the property owner.
Here at Pegasus Pest Control we can provide annual pest inspections for your investment property here on the Gold Coast. We can also arrange carpet steam cleaning at the end of your lease to get your bond returned in full. To book a professional pest control treatment get in touch with us today on (07) 5522 0089