At NPG, from time to time we get tenants calling about pest control. It can range from mice, to rats, ants, fleas, bed-bugs, cockroaches and even wasps nests. By the way, if you start scratching whilst you are reading this, don’t worry – it happens to me!
There’s a lot of confusion as to who is responsible for removal – the landlord or the tenant?
The principles are relatively simple;
- A landlord is responsible for the structure of the building, utilities, sanitary provision and any fittings
- If the pest problem is caused by a defect to the structure, for example, rats entering through outlet holes or broken sewer pipes, this would be the landlords problem to repair
- This does not include pests which relate to the tenants everyday occupation of the house (for example mice, fleas, cockroaches, wasps etc)
- The only exception being that a furnished property should be pest free before a tenant moves in
Personally as a matter of good practice I would always make sure that all of our houses are pest free, furnished or not, before a tenant moves in.
However, once a tenant has moved in, if they encounter any pests, it is their responsibility to remove them and cover the costs involved.
There is an excellent blog on the subject HERE.
It’s always best to set out your pest policy in your tenancy agreement, so that the tenant knows the position in advance – this will avoid later disappointment when they call requesting help. It is also worth providing help and advice as to simple, cost effective DIY solutions.
We direct our tenants to our website which includes a guide on how to get rid of all household pests. It will keep your tenants happy and save the landlord money.
You can stop scratching now
About Glenn Ackroyd
Glenn is a portfolio landlord, property manager, and rent to buy specialist with properties across the North East. He works at The National Property Group