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Pest Control - Who is responsible for the cost?

Who is responsible to pay for pest control in a rental property? Is it the landlord? Is it the tenant? This is something that often comes up and it is a grey area for all parties involved.

The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation "RTRA" act does not stipulate who is responsible, as such there is no specific answer and it could become tricky to deal with this situation.

To give some clarity to this question, we will look at the obligations of the landlord and the tenants respectively.

The owner's obligations:

The owner has the obligation to provide a property that is fit for a tenant to live in, the premises and inclusions are clean at the start of the tenancy, the premises complies with all applicable health and safety laws. In regards to pest control and within reason, it would be expected that the owner provides a property free of pests and vermin. This is very important especially at the beginning of a tenancy when the property is empty and handed over to the new tenants.

We need to keep in mind that if the property was handed over to the tenant in a clean condition and free of pest and vermin and there is no evidence for pest and vermin to be attracted, then the owner is meeting the obligation of providing a property free of pest and vermin at the start of the tenancy.

The tenant's obligations:

The tenant has the obligation to keep the premises and inclusions clean, having regard to their condition at the start of the tenancy, not to maliciously damage the premises or inclusions, or allow someone else to do so. In regards to pest control, it would be expected that the tenant does not do anything to attract pests and vermin. If the tenant actions have caused/allowed pest and vermin into the property, then the tenant would be responsible to pay for pest control.

When it comes to signing a Management Agreement (Form 6), it is best to discuss and confirm what the landlord agrees to - that way the landlord and the Property Manager are on the same page from the beginning.

At the start of a tenancy and the introductory or initial Sign Up process, it is best to discuss and be clear with the tenants of their obligations on the General Tenancy Agreement - that way the tenant and the Property Manager are on the same page from the beginning.

We at House 11 Residential are always happy to help our tenants and landlords to get a positive and fair outcome.

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