Are Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?

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<strong>Are Landlords Responsible for Pest Control?</strong>
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When it comes to pest infestations in rented properties, it’s not always clear who is responsible for it. While landlords have a duty to provide safe and habitable properties for their tenants, renters are also responsible for keeping the property clean.

So, who foots the bill to fix it?

In this article, we’ll explore who is responsible for dealing with pests in rented accommodation and just how much it can set a landlord or tenant back.

Whether you’re a tenant dealing with a pest problem or a landlord dealing with a tenant with a pest problem, keep reading to learn more about your responsibilities and how to handle the situation.

Are landlords responsible for pest control?

Unfortunately, it’s not black and white. Whether a landlord is responsible for pest control depends on the circumstances and the tenancy agreement’s terms.

In general, landlords are responsible for ensuring that their properties are free from pest infestations at the start of a tenancy. The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 dictates that landlords can be served with a statutory notice instructing them to eradicate any pests causing issues for tenants at their property. So if a tenant moves in and finds cockroaches cowering in the kitchen on day one, it’s safe to say it’s on the landlord.

Landlords must also take reasonable steps to prevent and control pest problems, such as repairing any cracks or holes in the walls or floors and ensuring that the property is adequately ventilated and cleaned.

However, suppose the pest issue arises due to the tenant’s actions, such as leaving food out in the open or not properly disposing of rubbish. In that case, the tenant may be responsible for resolving the issue.

Ultimately, the responsibility for pest control should be outlined in the tenancy agreement. If it’s unclear who is responsible, landlords and tenants should communicate and work together to resolve the issue. And quickly. With pests, it’s best to address problems as soon as they arise to prevent them from becoming more severe and costly to resolve.

Common pests in UK properties

Pests are a common problem in UK properties, particularly in inner-city areas. Some of the most common pests that landlords and tenants may encounter include:

  1. Mice and rats: These rodents are attracted to food sources and can cause damage to the property by gnawing on wood, wires, and insulation. The brown rat is the most common in the UK, a fervent disease spreader.
  2. Cockroaches: These insects thrive in warm and humid environments and can be difficult to eradicate once they infest a property.
  3. Bed bugs: These blood-sucking insects can be easily transported from one property to another. Despite the name, bed bugs aren’t just found in beds. Instead, they nestle in cracks and crevices and leave a bite mark that resembles a skin rash.
  4. Ants: These insects are attracted to sweet and greasy foods and can form large colonies, causing damage to the property.
  5. Wasps: These stinging insects can be a nuisance to tenants and can cause structural damage if they build their nests (which can contain up to 25,000 of them) in the property’s walls or attic.

If you’re dealing with any of these pests in your rental property, it’s essential to take action immediately to prevent the problem from worsening. This may involve contacting a pest control service. But how much will it set you back?

How much does pest control cost?

The cost of pest control can vary widely depending on the type and severity of the infestation and the region of the UK you’re in. For example, the cost of a one-off treatment for mice can range from £75 to £120, while treatment for bed bugs can cost anywhere from £150 to £300.

Suppose, according to the tenancy agreement, the responsibility of pest control falls on the landlord. In that case, they should be the ones to arrange and pay for a professional pest control service to deal with the problem. For landlords, it’s important to factor the potential cost of pest control into your budget for property maintenance. This is because it’s more common than you would think. You should also check your insurance policy to see if it includes cover for pest infestations. Some policies may include this as standard, while others may offer it as an optional add-on.

If the landlord doesn’t deal with the infestation in a timely manner, tenants can contact environmental health, which can cause an even bigger headache. In addition, if environmental health has to arrange an extermination procedure, they will legally force the landlord to pay for all costs, including administrative expenses.

Pests are unfortunate for all parties, but the sooner they are dealt with, the better.

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