Tenant or Landlord Responsibility: Infestations

If you have a problem with pests then there is usually a problem with the property. You may want to run and hide but it’s time to figure out where the problem is and when it started to occur. This will give the best opportunity to figure out who is responsible for the infestation. Pests and vermins can range from the classic mice and rat problems, to ant, flea, bedbug, mite issues, and everyone’s favourite, cockroaches.

Responsibility

This is not always straightforward, but using pest control’s expertise, can identify the cause and location of the pests. Armed with this information we can look into who’s responsible:

Landlord

It could simply be written into the tenancy agreement and so it is the landlords responsibility to keep the property in a habitable state. If that’s the case then it’s obviously the landlord's responsibility to do something about the pests. 

If the landlord hasn’t made the relevant fixes to the property like holes between the floorboards and skirting boards it could be their responsibility for the pests and on them to make the fixes.

If a tenant is moving into a furnished property and pests are noticed within the first couple of weeks it’s most likely the landlord's responsibility to fix the pest issue. It is their responsibility that the property is fit for living as soon as you move in. This is only the case in the early stages of a rental agreement.

If the problem develops down the line, then it is likely a tenants responsibility. 

Who, Me?

It can be the case that a tenant is likely the cause of the infestation. This depends on identifying the cause, but it may be something a tenant has OR has not done.

Something a tenant did - bringing animals into the property and a flea infestation occurring

Something a tenant didn’t - not taking the rubbish out and leaving it to fester, attracting rats

Any of these examples will be the responsibility of the tenant to fix.

Whoever the responsibility falls on it’s important that the homeowner knows so the problem can be fixed and prevented for future tenants. The property manager or landlord is likely to know a reliable pest control company to take care of the issue too. It is also likely the problem is not the property in question, but a neighbouring property. In this case, it is important to inform the landlord and the council or local authority so it can be investigated.

Disclaimer: Ezylet is not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information shared in the above blog is an opinion based on personal experiences within the property rental sector, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice.

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