Pest Control Rental Property | End of Lease Flea Spray

by 1300PestControl on May 11, 2013

Number 1 tip: Always arrange for END OF LEASE pest control to be carried out AFTER CLEANING. Cleaning soon after Pest Control will only wash away any chemicals applied resulting in non effective treatments and void warranties.  Make it the last thing you do!

 

Who is responsible for paying for Rental Property Pest Control?

 

For Rental Property Pest Control, the LESSOR IS RESPONSIBLE for any Pest Inspections that are carried out or any Termite Protection such as termite barriers & baiting system.

The Residential Tenancies Act states that the lessor shall ensure that the Rental Property at the commencement of the tenancy is clean and fit to live in and that the Rental Property is to be maintained so that it remains fit to live in (not clean).

 

Therefore, unless otherwise stated in the Lease Agreement, as a rule the LESSOR IS RESPONSIBLE for general Pest Control treatments for ants, cockroaches, fleas, silverfish and spiders. (I wish I knew this when I was renting and forking out for pest control services out of my own pocket!). As an example, where the LESSOR IS RESPONSIBLE is where there is a bee swarm or a bee hive in your yard or walls of the Rental Property.

 

The TENANT IS RESPONSIBLE for Pest Control if they have actively encouraged a pest infestation. This can be the case with general Pest Control and is often the case for pest infestations such as bed bugs and rodents (mice, rats). For example, the tenant may bring bed bugs home after travelling or have dry dog food that attracts rodents into the pantry. But if the rodents enter the roof, the LESSOR IS RESPONSIBLE.

End of Lease Pest Control/ End of Lease Flea Treatment

The TENANT IS RESPONSIBLE for having an End of Lease Flea Spray where the tenants have allowed animals on the premises, even if the animals have only been kept outside or have only been on the property for a short stay.

 

Generally the Leasing Authority (Real Estate Agent) will not sign over a tenants bond until it receives a detailed receipt for an End of Lease Pest Control on the Pest Control company letterhead.

 

An agent is not allowed to exclude the tenant from sourcing their own Pest Control company.  The agent can recommend a Pest Control company and on permission from the tenant arrange for the service on the tenants behalf but the tenant is able to source their own Pest Company independently, as long as the Pest Control is carried out in accordance with the rental agreement (generally speaking, after the premises has become vacant).

 

Ensure your End of Lease Pest Control is carried out after the carpet cleaning. And if you do have a flea infestation, ensure that you use a quality Pest Controller or the return of your bond may be delayed.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Cinco August 7, 2009 at 9:18 am

Nice tip RE the fleas on the rental property – our tenants have dogs. Far out – the thought of getting termites wrecking our investment property is a bit scary. How often should you get the property inspected – particularly for termites? The property is upper North Shore in Sydney.

Cinco August 13, 2009 at 8:36 am

Quite bizarre – but about 20 minutes after making the above post I get a call from the tenant. She has seen small flying insects around a hole in a timber window caused by water damage. She thinks it might be termites – AHHHHHH! (they can fly!?)
Pest controller has been since for an inspection and it sounds like it was a false alarm – seeing the tenant today. V Strange co-incidence.

pest control saint George August 20, 2009 at 1:12 am

Don’t you hate it when there’s a trail of ants marching across your kitchen counter tops? Or when you find ants nibbling on crumbs in the cupboard or along the baseboards?

Deb July 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I’ve been living in my rental for about 2 months and thought I had mice in the roof. So being brave I lifted the hatch and threw ratsack up there, but two weeks later the noises are still there. I now think I have either a rat/s or a possum.

I’m hoping the estate agents say the owners are responsible for sorting this out!!

1300PestControl July 29, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Hi Deb,

Generally we find that Estate Agents are reluctant to ask the Lessor to fork our for rodent pest control and usually this cost is covered by the tenant. It is a grey area in some respects as the Residential Tennancy Act states that your right as a tenant is that ;the premises are fit to live in and in a good state of repair’ and that unless an infestation is actively encouraged it could be seen as a maintenence issue where the lessor/ agent is responsible. The best thing for you to do is contact your local Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service, listed under the white pages under ‘Tenancy Advice’.

With every rodent control service we provide we also do an inspection of the roof void to see if there are issues regarding easy access to entry and multiple points of entry for the rodents to use. In such cases where we can identify entry points that would require repair, this could be seen as a health issue and certainly the lessor/ agent is responsible in these instances.

As for your pest, more than likely you may have a rat issue still but possibly possums and therefore an inspection is highly recommended. Possums are native to Australia and protected so you risk receiving a hefty fine if you intentionally harm or kill a possum. If it is rats then we can apply commercial grade product which is more potent than rack sack in that only one good feed is required to cease your problem (Rat Sack requires the rodents to feed multiple times and doesn’t have the same appeal as other rodent control products). It is important to note also that Rat Sack can have a transference effect, meaning that if another animal (say cat or dog) digests the dead rat then they too will be effected by the poison. The products we use do not have this transference effect.

I hope this helps!

Deb August 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Thanks so much for your advice, its greatly appreciated. To date I’ve heard nothing from the Estate Agents so will have to get you guys out to check it out.

I thought it would be down to us, but of course hoping it wouldn’t!

Sonia November 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I moved out of a house 3 weeks ago and had pest & flea control spraying done. Due to circumstances beyond my control, the house was cleaned the next day. The property manager is now saying that the house has a flea infestation. The pest controller won’t guarantee the work because the house was cleaned afterwards and has basically washed his hands of the whole thing. Do you have any advice? Am I really liable to pay for another treatment because 3 weeks later the house has fleas?

Sam November 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm

How often we should be getting our house sprayed? Over the past four years our house has only been sprayed three times.

1300PestControl November 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm

It is a difficult one. On one hand you have carried out the required End of Lease Pest Control that was noted on your Tenancy Agreement but the Pest Operator could also void the Warranty due to having the cleaning carried out the next day, especially so close to the Pest Control being done as this would have resulted in the chemicals being washed away. You have however fulfilled your obligation as a tenant and produced the necessary paperwork that your Agent/ Landlord has stipulated which most likely had no mention to a Warranty being required.

I have spoken to the RTA on this one and I was told that Pest Control is not specifically addressed in the ACT so it the agreement is only between you and the Agent as to who is responsible. The ACT only states “If the premises were pest free at the start of tenancy and the tenant has kept pets on the premises, they may be responsible for pest controlling the premises at the end of the tenancy.” This is something that you have done which shows that you have met your obligations. I was told that if the matter can’t be settled then the next step would probably be the Small Claims Tribunal. The Tenants Union of QLD may be able to assist with this further. http://tuq.org.au/wp/ or phone (07) 3257 1411. RTA also have a Dispute Resolution Service who may offer additional support. http://www.rta.qld.gov.au/the_dispute_resolution_service.cfm or 1300 366 311.

Another question – has there been another tenant since your vacancy or is the premise still vacant?

1300PestControl November 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm

The RTA tenancy ACT specifically states;
Do premises need to be pest controlled at the end of a tenancy?
The Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 does not make a specific reference to pest control.
Tenancy agreements prepared by industry organisations may include a statement in the special terms of the tenancy agreement similar to the following: “The tenant must keep the premises free from pests and vermin.”
Before an agreement with this type of clause is signed, all parties should be aware of what it means and how it applies to the tenancy. Consideration should also be given to the standard of the premises at the beginning of the tenancy and any actions by the tenant, which may have contributed to a pest problem.
If the premises were pest free at the start of tenancy and the tenant has kept pets on the premises, they may be responsible for pest controlling the premises at the end of the tenancy.
Although pest control may be included as a special term in the tenancy agreement, the lessor/agent may not specify that the tenant use a particular company or product to pest control the premises as this may be considered to be an offence under the Act. A lessor/agent cannot require a tenant to pay a set fee for pest control.
Last Updated: 16 December 2009

1300PestControl November 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Hi Samantha. Getting your house sprayed for general pests is really up to you. Some people only get it done if they are experiencing an infestation they haven’t been able to control, be that silverfish nesting in the roof void, cockroaches accumulating in the kitchen or spiders becoming too unbearable. Some people prefer to get a pest spray done annually and usually at this time of year when the conditions are favorable for pests to breed. As most general pest treatments come with some sort of warranty period they then have the peace of mind that if they have any returning they can look to get a re-treatment.

For Rental Properties in particular, there is no actual set time frame required as per the Tenancy ACT and it is something that is at the discretion of the lessor and the tenant. As a general rule, a Lessor is required to maintain structural defects to a property. In my opinion this would include sealing entry points in roof voids to avoid rodents and possums taking up residence as well as getting Termite Inspections carried out on a regular basis and paying for termite treatments & damage if required. Usually it is up to the tenant to arrange and pay for any General Pest Treatments as technically it is the tenants responsibility to keep the premises free from pests and vermin if the premises was free from pests prior to the tenant moving in.

Sonia November 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Thanks for the answer. I have spoken to the TUQ and the RTA and had the same advice. There are new tenants in the house now. They’re the ones who complained about the fleas.

1300PestControl November 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I wonder if the new tenants have dogs and also when the fleas emerged? Sorry I couldn’t help out further but I would be happy to know how you go and who ends up paying for pest control or if it goes to Small Claims what the verdict is. It would be great if you could keep me informed so I can let others in your situation know. Good luck with it all.

1300PestControl November 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I wonder if the new tenants have dogs and also when the fleas emerged? Sorry I couldn’t help out further but I would be happy to know how you go and who ends up paying for pest control or if it goes to Small Claims what the verdict is. It would be great if you could keep me informed so I can let others in your situation know. Good luck.

Sonia November 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I was told (by the property manager) that the new tenants had no pets, but when I called around to the house yesterday, there was a dog there. They appear to be still moving in, but I don’t know when they complained about the fleas. I have notified the property manager of my disinclination to be further involved and am waiting to hear back. I don’t doubt they will try to make me pay, as they are the cheapest and least honest company I’ve ever had the displeasure of doing business with.

Justin January 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

just got off the phone with the real estate, i rent our house through them and told them of a severe spider problem and asked if the land lord was responcible they said no because sprider are a general pest and it was my responsiblity to look after them (any help would be nice)

Kristie February 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm

My landlord sprayed for pests today. I am worried because I keep pet scorpions. How long until it will be safe for me to bring my pets back? Will they be safe in their tanks or do I need to wash the treatment off the walls? Please help :(

Roger February 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm

With the fleas, whether you have pets or not, pet fleas are different to grass fleas.. contrary to what most landlords will try and tell you, grass fleas are not brought in by pets..

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