Who Is Responsible For Pest Control? The Landlord Or The Tenant?

One of the most frustrating things is how rental agreements between landlords and tenants can differ between every state. This is why it’s important for you to verify local laws before ever entering such an agreement with a property owner. This includes both pest control expenses. In regards to most states, the law requires landlords to make sure their rental units are fit enough for human habitation.

Out of the things that make up healthy human habitation, making sure there are no pests is a huge one. This means your landlord should be in charge of it. If they do not, then under certain circumstances they are violating the health standards as cited in the Residential Tenancy Authority.

Many laws, however, make it legal for landlords to increase rents come renewal time if they feel the occupant made many maintenance demands that were not necessary. A recent news program highlighted this very thing when they covered the story of a tenant who was required to pay out of pocket for pest control during their tenancy.

However, there is some leeway for getting the landlord involved. This is especially true if it’s their fault that the pests are infesting in the first place. An example of this would be a hole in the wall welcoming in rodents or smaller pests. In this case, the landlord has to bear some of the responsibility while also taking care of the hole that caused the problem to begin with.

This is why it’s so important to verify your local tenancy rules before entering a rental agreement with anyone. You want to know who will be responsible for contacting a pest control expert before you ever face this sort of problem and the associated expenses, and also what kinds of pesticides can be used on the property.

If pests exist before the rental agreement is made, then the landlord cannot in good faith assure under law that the place is ready to be inhabited. Even so, if you still go ahead with the agreement, then it becomes a gray area as to who is responsible for getting rid of the pests. However, if you are told that is pest free, you move in, and it turns out it’s not… then you have a case to make.

Here is where you stand:

  • Landlords are required by law to rent you a livable space. This includes being free of pests. If the pests appear due to landlord negligence, then they are responsible.
  • This does not include pests like mice, fleas, or cockroaches, that may be the result of the tenant’s hygiene or daily habits. Yet tenants are still guaranteed a pest free home before moving in.
  • If it’s proven that the tenant is responsible for bringing in the pests, then the landlord can say that said tenant “damaged” the property and make them responsible for paying.
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