My tenant has been in occupation for 4.5 years, they contacted me yesterday to advise me that their bedroom is covered in bed bugs. The property is shared with 3 other tenants, none are having the same issue.
I have arranged for an inspection at the property to see what is occurring.
My question is, whose responsibility is it to remove the bugs if there is an infestation?
When a tenant notices bed bugs, they may call the landlord first. In all cases, a tenant should notify the landlord as soon as possible, to assess who will sort the problem.
The question of responsibility can get slightly grey.
We suggest that you make arrangement to inspect the property to establish if there is an infestation, if there is an issue, we suggest that you act promptly to prevent further spreading of the bugs. You may need a specialist pest control company to treat the problem.
A landlord’s responsibility is to ensure a property is suitable for a tenant to live. If a landlord lets a property that already has bed bugs, a tenant may ask the landlord to deal with the issue and remove them.
Ensuring there are no bed bugs before a tenant moves in is advisable.
Bug Infestations may also be landlord’s responsibility when pests are entering because of an issue with the property. For example, if pests are getting in through missing roof tiles, broken vents, air bricks, and leaking pipes. This is likely easier to block up for pests such as rats, where there is likely a clear entry point.
If the landlord is responsible for the issue, they should act quickly and do all the necessary repairs.
In your situation where a tenant has been in a property for a long period of time, it is likely that they have introduced the bed bugs themselves – whether the bugs were accidentally carried on suitcases/luggage or brought in by a guest. It may therefore be the tenant’s responsibility to pay for repair and removal.