Tenant Guidelines for pest control

Whilst landlords are responsible for providing fit and habitable conditions within the boundaries of the property on the title deeds, tenants also share responsibility upon move-in to help maintain this standard of housing in a “tenant like manner”. This has been documented in clause 1.7.

Here are steps to prevent pests at home:

1.Keep cupboard and food on locked down.

Mice can chew through cardboard and plastic so move any boxed or plastic bag food items on the counter and in the cupboard into sealed glass containers. Or keep items in the fridge – it might sound weird to keep a box of Instant Rice in the fridge, but we promise you, it doesn’t change how it cooks or tastes. If you spill or drop food, immediately clean it up, especially from the floor, counter, or cupboard.

2. Eliminate moisture.

Make sure to immediately clean up any standing water around tubs and sinks and report any water leaking that appears in the ceiling or wall immediately to a landlord. Mice and other pests are attracted to water so maintaining a dry environment is helpful for keeping pests at bay and also preventing mould.

3. Eliminate cardboard storage.

Bedbugs love to hide in cardboard and rodents can easily chew through it. Instead, consider using hard plastic totes for storing items for the season or long-term (especially clothes and bedding).

4. Plug or block any small holes with steel wool.

If a hole does suddenly appear, report the problem to your landlord and immediately plug it. The most common method of plugging a small hold formed by mice is with steel wool, as they can’t chew through it.

5. Reduce clutter.

Eliminating clutter is critical, not only does it prevent creating hiding places and nests for pests, but it makes noticing signs of a problem and eliminating it easier in case a pest infestation does occur.

6. Clean and vacuum frequently.

Sometimes when we’re going through our day-to-day, it’s easy to miss the signs of a pest problem. Set a weekly cleaning day so that food gets cleaned up, the carpets vacuumed, and the clutter put away. Not only will this help prevent a problem from occurring, but you will also be paying closer attention to your home while cleaning it so you are more likely to notice the signs of pests moving in.

7. Throw away your rubbish regularly.

Make sure your rubbish bins have lids and remain closed.

8. Report a problem

If you see any exposed rubbish outside of the property walls please report to the council. Some parts of the country are much worse than others when it comes to pest infestation. Generally those areas with small alleyways, typically Victorian, where rubbish can be thrown out or dumped (fly tipping) without anyone noticing. This would attract and harbour rats and mice like pollen to a bee.

We have had a couple of reports from a contract who saw 2 individual people (not tenants of ours) tipping their loose rubbish and furniture into a gated alley way without a care of what the consequences are. This was their own property, and clearly uneducated on what would happen to the area. If you are unaware of how to store or remove generate waste or recycle, please refer to the virtual notice board on your fob. If you see anyone dumping rubbish in this way or see this in your area, please contact the local council to remove it. There will be a knock on effect to your property if this is left to stand for more than 24/ 48 hours.

If there is a report of a pest issue which is either a result of the tenant not taken personal care of the property in a “tenant like manner”, or the result is something that has happened outside the boundary of the property, the landlord may choose not to instruct a pest control contractor, or push the cost back on the tenant if there are grounds for negligence.

Rob Mason

Managing Director

RJL Property Group