Any pest infection needs to be acted upon quickly, so it’s essential to understand the causes and who is responsible for dealing with it before the problems caused by pests become worse.

Pests mean trouble!

Whether rats, mice, wasps, fleas, bedbugs or cockroaches, an infestation of any pest causes property damage and potentially leads to illness due to the unsanitary conditions they can create.

Initially, you may not always see the culprits of the infestation yourself, but signs such as droppings, gnawed woodwork, nesting or strange smells are clues there may be unwanted visitors.

At these first signs of infestation, it’s important to act quickly, so whoever is responsible for dealing with the infestation must do so immediately. Leaving it will only mean a more significant issue to resolve in the future.

Determining who is responsible for dealing with pests – landlord or tenant – may not always be obvious, and it can depend on the cause of the infestation, but it shouldn’t be allowed to cause delay.

When is the tenant responsible for dealing with a pest infestation?

If an infestation can be linked to rubbish not being disposed of properly or the property not being kept clean. In these cases, the tenant will likely be held responsible for taking action.

When is the landlord responsible for dealing with a pest infestation?

Landlords are responsible for ensuring the property they rent is fit and safe to live in. This means if the cause of the infestation is a result of the landlord not meeting their obligations, they will need to deal with the matter. For example, a landlord is likely to be held responsible if:

  • The infestation makes the property unfit to live in
  • The infestation was present before the tenant moved in
  • Repairs to the property are needed to prevent pests from entering, such as  broken drains or cracked walls
  • Actions taken previously failed to resolve the issue

Landlords should carry out repairs, bring in pest control or contact the local council to address the issue. If the cause is the landlord’s fault, the tenant should not be charged for any action taken to eradicate the infestation.

The tenancy agreement may also contain clauses relating to responsibility for managing pest infections and should also be referred to help determine who is responsible for what and when.

What can be done to deal with infestations?

It’s important to act quickly, informing the landlord when signs of a potential infestation are first noticed so that the landlord and tenant can work together to resolve the matter.

Send photo evidence of the issue to the landlord and locate the cause and source of the infestation so it can be eradicated. Pest control can assist with this.

Pests can do serious damage to the landlord’s property, so it is in their interest to deal with them quickly. Still, if they are not acting, tenants can contact the local council’s environmental health team, who can arrange an inspection, give advice and take enforcement action.

No Letting Go

If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go can help you deal with pests and other hazards through regular inspections and inventories, streamlining costs and cutting your workload, contact No Letting Go today.


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