Pests and vermin

This general guide shows who is responsible when an infestation occurs.

Pests and vermin

Landlord’ responsibility

Tenant’s responsibility

Ants

if present at the start of the tenancy

if present during the tenancy

Bees and wasps

if present in a wall cavity or similar

if present at the start of the tenancy

if present during the tenancy

Birds

to remove and seal off any entry points

-

Cockroaches, fleas and spiders

if present at the start of the tenancy

if present during the tenancy

Mice and rats

if present at the start of the tenancy

if present during the tenancy

Possums

to remove and seal off any entry points

-

Snakes

if present at the start of the tenancy

if caused by the landlord breaching the conditions of the agreement – eg.landlord left piles of rubbish in garden

if present during the tenancy

Termites/white ants

at the start and throughout the tenancy

-

Pest control responsibilities before you move in

The landlord is responsible for the eradication of pests if the infestation occurs at the start of the tenancy.

Tenants should inspect the property carefully and look out for signs of pests including droppings in cupboards and on floors. You should also check if the previous tenants owned cats or dogs, as fleas could be breeding in the carpet and may not appear for a couple of months.

You can ask the landlord or agent to undergo a pest control service before your move in or within the the first weeks of your tenancy.

Pest control responsibilities after you move in

As a tenant, you are responsible for the eradication of pests if the infestation occurs after you have moved in and if the infestation was caused by your activities or lack of cleanliness.

If you believe that the infestation was not caused by your activities or lack of cleanliness, then you may not be held responsible for pest eradication if you can show the landlord is in breach of the tenancy agreement.

If you can’t agree on who is responsible for pest eradication, use Fair Trading’s <free dispute resolution service>.

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