Does your Tenants Have Pests?

From time to time we get tenants calling about pests. It can range from mice, to wasps nests.

There’s a lot of confusion as to who is responsible for removal – the landlord or the tenant?

The principles are relatively simple;
– A landlord is responsible for the structure of the building, utilities, sanitary provision and any fittings
– If the pest problem is caused by a defect to the structure, for example, rats entering through outlet holes or broken sewer pipes, this would be the landlords problem to repair
– This does not include pests which relate to the tenants everyday occupation of the house (for example mice, wasps etc)
– The only exception being that a furnished property should be pest free before a tenant moves in

Personally as a matter of good practice I would always make sure that all of our houses are pest free, furnished or not, before a tenant moves in.

However, once a tenant has moved in, if they encounter any pests, it is their responsibility to remove them and cover the costs involved.

There is an excellent blog on the subject here; http://blog.painsmith.co.uk/2010/09/19/bed-bugs-and-landlords-liability/

It’s always best to set out your pest policy in your tenancy agreement, so that the tenant knows the position in advance – this will avoid later disappointment when they call requesting help.