Who Pays for Pest Control in a Rental?
Pest infestations can crop up at any time. They’re a simple fact of life for most renters and homeowners in Queensland. Even if you keep your property sparkling clean, there’s still a chance you’ll find yourself dealing with ants, cockroaches, fleas, rats and other pests. If you own your home then the solution is straightforward: call in pest control. For renters, it’s not always clear whether you or the landlord is responsible for dealing with issues of pest control. In this blog we’ll take a look at pest control and how landlords and their tenants can resolve the problem.
Check Your Lease for Pest Control
When you start noticing signs of pests around the home, your first port of call should be your lease. Some leases will contain clauses that deal specifically with pest control and lay out which party is responsible for which types of infestations. For example, it’s common for pests to be the landlord’s responsibility if the problem existed before the tenant moved in.
When renting, it’s always a good idea to inspect properties before signing a lease. If you notice any sign of pests, make sure the landlord invests in pest control before you move in. You can also ask your landlord to include provisions for pest control in the lease to protect you from existing infestations.
Your Responsibilities as a Tenant
As far as possible, tenants are expected to leave rental properties in the same condition they found them. When dealing with pests, that means tenants are usually responsible for paying pest control expenses due to infestations that began while they were living there. It’s often difficult to determine exactly when an infestation began, which is why it’s important to perform a thorough inspection before moving in.
In Queensland, under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, tenants may be required to carry out pest control at the end of their tenancy in some circumstances. However, the landlord cannot require a tenant to:
- Leave the property in better condition than they found it (e.g. the landlord can’t ask you to provide pest control upon exit if they didn’t provide it at the start of the lease)
- Use a specific pest control service
- Use a specific pest control product
- Pay a set fee for pest control
In practice, this means your landlord will be required to pay for pest control to cover existing infestations. In turn, it’s the tenant’s responsibility to keep the property clean and tidy to reduce the risk of pest infestations while staying there.
Your Responsibilities as a Landlord
Because it can be hard to prove whether the tenant or landlord is responsible for a pest infestation, it’s in the landlord’s best interests to include pest control information in the lease. Setting out your requirements for pest control ensures your tenants know what’s expected of them and protects you if your tenants cause a pest infestation. It’s in the landlord’s best interests to:
- Supply pest control services at the start of the lease. If the landlord supplies pest control at the start of the lease, the tenant can usually be asked to pay for it when they move out, or if they encounter a pest problem while living in the property.
- Perform regular pest inspections between tenancies to identify problems early. Since it’s the landlord’s responsibility to pay for existing infestations, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the property. Ask a pest control service to check out the property and take care of small issues early.
Need Pest Control for Your Property? Contact Pete’s Pest Control Today!
Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s a good idea to handle small pest problems before they get out of hand. If you’re seeing signs of pests like ants, cockroaches, spiders and other critters, get in touch with Pete’s Pest Control. We service the Toowoomba region, providing high quality pest control that can take care of all residential and commercial pest issues. Our trained and accredited team can inspect your property for signs of pests. Once we know what we are dealing with, we can tailor a pest control plan and deliver the products and treatments your property needs. Speak with us today if you’d like to make a booking!