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Who’s Responsible For Bed Bugs? Landlords or Tenants?

Housing relationships between landlords and tenants always have the potential to be fraught, with the rules of responsibility frequently confused and blurred.

Whilst, in theory, landlords and tenants will have few encounters, inevitable bill disputes, appliance breakdowns and pest infections can lead to disagreements. 


Landlord or tenant, if you have recognised the signs to confirm an infestation, do not hesitate! Call us immediately and book a professional bed bug removal service or our specialised heat treatment for bed bugs as soon as possible.


At 247 Pest Control, we report pest infections as one of the primary points of contention between landlords and renters. With the cause of such health and hygiene breaches, it’s often difficult to determine and often requiring expensive resolutions, it is difficult to establish whom to blame. 

But with whom does the fault lie?
Is it the landlords’ lack of care or the tenants’ lack of hygiene? 

Based on experience and pest control reviews, bed bugs as the most common pest infestation to occur in any home and notoriously, one of the hardest to get rid of.

In this article, you will find details both how bed bugs infestations happen in rentals and who is liable to foot the bill for professional bed bug removal. 

Bed Bug Infestations & Housing

A female bed bug can lay over 5 eggs a day.

It takes just a few weeks for these eggs to mature into full-sized bugs. Dispelling the common myth that these bugs come with dirt, they are in fact driven by the scent of human flesh, making them even more sinister.

  • Bed bugs are small, brown insects that most often inhabit areas near your mattresses. 
  • Bed bugs feed off of human blood and their bites can cause painful and itchy skin reactions. 
  • Bed bugs are most active at night, making it almost impossible for those living with an infestation to sleep. 
  • Bed bugs are also notoriously difficult to get rid of because of how quickly they can multiply. 

The pesky bloodsuckers can easily enter any rental property through baggage or clothes, and this is where responsibility for the infection becomes even more complex.

It is difficult to establish whether the tenant has brought the bugs or whether the bugs were already nearby the mattress, sofa, and the entire housing before the tenant moved in.

Responsibilities

Who is responsible?

Landlords & Bed Bugs

The landlord is the homeowner and ultimately responsible for their tenants’ comfort and wellbeing within the property, but with landlords becoming increasingly hands-off and profit-driven, what are their actual legal responsibilities? 

  • Thorough checks: Landlords are bound to conduct in-depth checks into the safety and cleanliness of their property before any tenant moves in. If they do these checks properly, they should discover an infestation and ensure they remove it before they allow any tenant to sign for the property. 
  • Refusal of accountability: If the tenants can prove that the bed bug infestation existed before they moved in, they can report this to their local council. The council will then investigate the case, which will often result in the landlord having to pay for the removal of the pest. 

Tenants & Bed Bugs

When signing a lease to rent a property, tenants should expect to move into livable conditions, with working appliances as agreed in their tenancy agreement.

However, as tenants, they are responsible for the general upkeep of the property, ensuring it remains tidy, clean and as found.

  • Establish a timeline: Responsibility lies the timing and when the bed bug infestation is discovered. If the tenant is immediately experiencing red, itchy bites upon moving into their new home, it is evident that the infection and thus the landlord is liable. However, if it is a few months before the tenant, it is most likely accidental contamination by the tenant which means they may have to pay for their removal. 
  • Consider professional pest control: If you are a landlord or tenant that is suffering from a bed bug infestation, it is always best to call in a professional pest removal team to deal with the problem. Because of their rapid rate of multiplication, DIY removal methods often cannot eradicate the issue, and you will often end up spending far more than you would for a professional service. 

Contact the bed bug removal experts at 24/7 Pest Control and get a quote here

Final words

With complex situations such as a bed bug infestation, it is often best to have a measured discussion without initially pointing blame. However, when it comes to long-term damage, it is landlords that are concerned about the spread of bloodsucking bugs and will be happy to pay for the pest removal service.

However, if this is not the case, then the tenant will need to gather evidence to take the case to the local council. The last dash of advice comes from Sara Robards from My Favourite Voucher Codes: Consider combined services for multi pest treatments for discounts may apply depending on the size of your property.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Lynne Day says:

    How do you know if you have bed bugs?

    • Amber Morris Amber Morris says:

      Empty shells, tiny dark red/brown spots in furniture crevices, live bed bugs and their eggs. Those are the signs of a bed bug infestation. If you find any of these signs, you have bed bugs.

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