Is Landlord Responsible for Pest Control?

Living inside of a rented home can be an experience of many questions. What is and isn’t the landlord’s responsibility being the most common among these. Hence, we will be tackling the question: is landlord responsible for pest control?

After all, getting quick answers to the matter is what you need when pests are about, so check out the following information.

Is you landlord responsible for pest control?


The uncertainty of whose responsibility it is to fix pest problems can be a true hassle to deal with. For one, the longer it takes for us to resolve the issue, the more pests there will be inside of the home. Considering that most pests multiply exponentially fast, we should seek to fix this problem fast. [1]

Pests will heavily impact the quality of our life as these pests can cause health issues and waste problems. Lastly, the cost of resolving the problem can be a huge hit to some people’s budget, so knowing whether they’ll have to save up cash for pest control.

The landlord also holds the position of the actual owner of the property. Retaining a lot of the legal rights tied to it but gaining new obligations to work through. These can be beneficial to tenants, allowing them some extra rights. Landlords have to make the property habitable and safe, which are two traits pests quickly ruin.

Additionally, if the pests were already present or their appearance was due to a structural flaw of the property, the responsibility is completely on the landlord. They’ve allowed the situation to get to this point and have to resolve it. [2]

Who is responsible for pest control when renting?

Going over the details, we get to engage more with the question of who’s responsible for doing fixes tied to pest control. This is specifically about renting. As you’d assume, if you owned a house, it’s pretty much your obligation to deal with such problems.

However, in the situation where we are renting a place, things get a lot more convoluted. The concerns over the responsibility of this entire experience are justified, so let’s see who is responsible for pest control when renting.

Establishing the obligations of a landlord

Owning a house will carry with it a lot of obligations. The obligation of taking care of it can go from a personal one to a municipal one as your lack of maintenance adversely affects the nearby buildings.

These obligations will show up in relation to most things, be it sewer installations or unkempt yards. It is no different from pest control. The pests could easily spread and cause more problems if not handled. Openly allowing them to reproduce could soon see the whole neighborhood face these issues. As expected, things get a bit different in the situation of apartments. [3]

The impact of pest on surrounding properties

Those who own apartments have to understand how close to these infestations their neighbors are. In some cases, they could be a wall away. That means that any problems our apartment encounters could soon become theirs.

A direct and simple example would be water leaks and their repercussions. It won’t take long to go from your ceiling leaking to the neighbors facing the same problem.

In the case of pests, things are barely different. Most pests live in the walls or have no problem squeezing their way out of your home and into a nearby one. There, they start a new nest and further spread.

The problem of responsibility

We will end up considering whether we should be solving the problems of infection spreading between the apartments. Whether it’s a home or an apartment, the concern remains the same. However, the question ends up being one of specific responsibility. Do you have to deal with the problem simply for living here? Is it your problem? Who should take care of it?

Is landlord responsible for pest control?


The answer would be yes. As mentioned above, it is the landlords’ responsibility to maintain their property. This obligation holds true even when the act of renting is involved.

Do obligations switch to the tenants?

Renting doesn’t change the owner, just the inhabitant, meaning that the landlord is still responsible for paying for pest control. Of course, some may be worried about their rights as inhabitants. These landlords’ responsibilities are further reinforced by the law, requiring them to maintain the property you are living in.

Can a tenant be responsible for pest control?

There are cases where the tenant may be considered responsible for the resolution of a pest problem. This will usually be tied to the reason why pests showed up in the first place.

If it can be proven that pests showed up due to the negligent behavior of tenants, the landlord isn’t responsible for dealing with them. This behavior includes anything from leaving out the trash to leaving food out to spoil and attract unwanted critters. [5]

Pest control leasse agreement


Furthermore, we should mention some details in reference to the actual legal agreement. Tenants may need to call on these regulations and agreements in order to get an actual resolution from the landlord.

In cases where the problem persists, invoking these can be rather important. Of course, we should learn them first by checking out the agreement.

How does law handle responsibility of landlords?

The sample clause of the pest control lease agreement notes that the landlord is primarily responsible for the actions taken against pests. These actions include getting rid of rats and termites.

However, it does specify that it won’t cover infestations that occur after the tenants moved in, as we’ve previously discussed. This could lead to some disputes, so you should start documenting the pest infestations as soon as possible.

How does it operate in relation to the lease agreement?

The lease agreement does note that the person leasing the property will keep it clear of pests, rodents, and other vermin. This will cover all the important pests in the area, and further prove our point if we need to call on it.

Is landlord responsible for pest control?

All of this means that the landlord is required to get rid of vermin in a way that won’t compromise the health and safety of the inhabitants. Any use of prohibited treatments can lead to legal problems. It should also be noted that the landlord should inform the tenants of the treatment that’s being employed in order to avoid potential health complications. [6]

Responsibility for pest control in different locations


The laws and rules that decide whose responsibility the pest control is can vary around. This goes all the way down to a state difference. No matter where you are, paying extra attention to this difference is worth paying attention to. Even if our previous area of residence didn’t require landlords to fix problems with pests, the new one might have some corresponding to it.

Are landlords responsible for pest control in California?

According to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, any current or ongoing infestations, regardless of their source, are the responsibility of a landlord. As mentioned before, the buildings are required to stay in a livable condition. [7]

It doesn’t matter if the pest infestation comes to rodents, insects, or birds because it will end up being the landlord’s worry to resolve the issue. The actual pest infestation has to be taken care of through corresponding protocols, too, usually given by licensed pest control services.

Are landlords responsible for pest control in Massachusetts?

Things aren’t much different in Massachusetts. The landlord’s responsibilities specifically state that the obligation of clearing up pests rests on them. It also adds that the common areas and apartments have to be consistently kept clean and free from any pests in situations where two or more apartments are available within the building.

Are landlords responsible for pest control in Texas?

It’s no different in Texas. The requirements imply that every house that’s being rented needs to be habitable. This does include getting rid of pests, as those are assumed to compromise the habitability of a place.

Although clean and safe housing is a requirement rather than a suggestion, it seems even in situations where renters introduced pests to the household, the landlord is responsible for getting rid of them.

Related: Drain Clogged With Hair 


The concerns of pest infestations take with them a lot of significant factors. With these pests comes the risk of disease. Just about any of these animals is capable of carrying with it various infections that could heavily damage tenants’ health. The other factors like compromising the structural integrity of a household and being an overall problematic factor lead to them requiring swift resolution.

The actions against pest infestation need to be taken by a landlord themselves, leaving the tenants void of any responsibility most of the time. The situations where tenants may be responsible for resolving the problem also vary from state to state. Most frequently, the only case where tenants will be responsible for pest control is if they were the cause of it.

Any other situation than the one mentioned will leave the responsibility firmly in the hands of the landlord, who has to take care of the problem as soon as possible to ensure a habitable location. Furthermore, different laws reinforce this responsibility, making pest control mandatory for landlords.

Read Next: What To Pour Down Drain To Kill Roaches