Pest Infestations in Rental Properties
Who’s Responsible for Pest Control in Rental Properties?
Pest infestations in rental properties is a regular issue confronting the team at Pest Control Empire. We receive several calls a day from tenants and landlords who complain of some form of pest issue at their rental property. The problem everybody faces though is who’s going to pay for our service? Is it the tenant or landlord that’s responsible? We’ve delved through the applicable laws and a review of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 would have us believe that no definitive answer exists. That’s right, the law does not specify!
The following pest issues are common place:
- Rodent Control (rats & mice);
- Bird Control;
- Possum Control;
- Termite Control;
- Flea Control;
- Spider Control;
- Ant Control;
- Cockroach Control; &
- Bedbug Control.
Each situation needs to be assessed on merit. For example, the following must be taken into account:
- Was the particular pest in question present prior to the tenant moving in?
- Is a problem with the structure of the property contributing to the problem? For example, a possum may have entered a roof cavity via a dislodged roof tile.
- Is the tenant causing the problem through unhygienic practices? For example, a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and an overflowing garbage bin will attract pests like mice, ants and cockroaches.
Therefore, the common sense rule should apply in regard to responsibility. If that’s not possible then the matter can always be resolved at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). This is extreme and we’re sure the issue of pest extermination can be resolved without the need to involve public officials.
To avoid confusion it could always be defined in the lease regarding responsibility for pest removal.
One thing that can’t be avoided is end of lease pest control, particularly for dog and cat owners as these pets are associated with fleas. We offer this service and issue a treatment certificate that will assist in the release of the bond.