It is vital landlords know how to deal with a wide range of problems which may affect their rental property, such as learning how to deal with pests. It is also critical to know who is responsible for dealing with this problem. Hopefully, you will not have a pest infestation to deal with, but if you do, this information will come in useful.
When is a landlord responsible for dealing with pests?
A common disagreement between landlords and tenants is who is responsible for a task or action. Unsurprisingly, there are times when a landlord is responsible for dealing with pests, and there will be times when a tenant is responsible.
The following instances are occasions when the landlord is responsible for dealing with a pest problem:
- Repair work needs to be undertaken to prevent pests from entering the rental property
- An infestation of pets has made the rental property unsafe to live in
Don’t forget that there is now the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act to contend with. If a landlord fails to provide a safe and suitable home environment for tenants, they run the risk of being sued. The cost and unwanted publicity of this situation can be harmful to landlords, so you must take steps to maintain standards in the rental accommodation.
Landlords should review the property, and if there are entry points for pests, these areas need to be repaired. Fixing holes in external walls, air bricks, broken vents, damaged windows and doors can significantly reduce the likelihood of pests infesting a rental property.
Do tenants have responsibilities concerning pests?
Yes, tenants are responsible for maintaining a good standard of cleanliness in the rental property. If the tenant acts in a manner that attracts pests, such as leaving food or rubbish out, the tenant is held responsible for the infestation.
It may be that neighbours and neighbouring properties cause problems that lead to pests infiltrating a rental property. In this instance, it is best to ask the neighbour to intervene or contact Environmental Health if the neighbour is unwilling to act.
It is not a landlords’ responsibility to engage with neighbours to maintain the condition of a rental property. However, some will. Landlords often need to look at the bigger picture and act to preserve the condition of the rental property. By being proactive, you minimise risk while providing tenants with a higher standard of service.
“At Thomas Morris, we know no one wants to think about rats and other vermin running around a rental property”, said Thomas Morris St Ives Branch Manager Katy Poore. “However, pests pose a genuine problem, and the issue must be dealt with quickly. Landlords need to know when they are responsible, and should act if they can.”
Letting your home is stressful, but with the right support, you can make the process easier. Book a valuation at a time that is suitable to you or alternatively, you can phone our St Ives branch, managed by Katy Poore by calling us on 01480 468066.