Landlord or Tenant: Who is responsible for Pest Control in California


Answers to pest control questions that new tenants must ask in California

There are many things you need to take care of before you call your new house a home. One of the most overlooked factors, before you rent a new place, is checking for a pest infestation, and what pest control laws work for your lease agreement.

The apartment of your dreams might check off all the boxes on your list — great view, great neighborhood, and great neighbors to live next to, but also checking for pest control should be an essential criterion on your list. If overlooked, a pest infestation can cause a lot of property damage, and might even be responsible for spreading diseases.

Here are a few questions that you should ask about pest control before renting a new place:

Is Landlords Responsible for Pest Control in California?

  • If pests have been troubling you since you’ve moved into your rented home, then yes, the landlord is responsible for pest control in California.
  • Californian law, as of 2016, mandates that landlords inform the tenants if they have performed pest control themselves. Generally, pest control responsibility is always included in the lease agreement, where it explicitly states that it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the structures in the multi-unit building or single-family home that they are renting out.

What Are the Landlord’s Responsibilities When It Comes to Pest Control?


  • In California, landlords are responsible for pest and vermin control — the only exception is that if the pest infestation has been caused by the tenant’s lack of housekeeping or lack of cleanliness.
  • According to the apartment laws in California, getting rid of cockroaches is the landlord’s responsibility since cockroaches are the most common pests that tenants have to deal with.
  • Mice control is also the landlord’s responsibility if the apartment has a history of mice infestation if the apartment is located in a grassy field.
  • If the rodent infestation is caused because of the lack of cleanliness on the part of the tenant, like not taking out the garbage regularly, or not cleaning the kitchen properly, then the tenant could be liable in paying for proper residential pest control.
  • Landlords are also responsible for taking care of ants if they are present before the tenant moved in.

When Is a Tenant Responsible for Pest Control?

  • Most of the time, landlords are responsible for residential pest control, seasonal maintenance of residential pest control, and immediate pest control when tenants are dealing with a pest problem.
  • However, if the landlord can prove that the pests have been caused because of the tenant’s living habits, the onus will fall on the tenant. According to California Civil Code Section 1941.2, the tenant is responsible for pest control if his or her actions make the property inhabitable. This includes activities like bringing a bed bug infestation into the house, a cockroach infestation after the tenant has moved in, and keeping the property unclean and attracting pests.
  • It is generally a good idea to discuss the sort of services the tenant is responsible for if they are not already a part of the lease. Check if your lease includes pest control, lawn maintenance, use of utilities, and repair work.

Is the Pest Control Clause Included in the Rental Agreement?


  • Pest control is generally included in the rental lease as the landlord’s responsibility. Before signing the lease, you should check if it says that the landlord is delivering the unit in good condition, and is going to take care of the pest control in the property financially.
  • Also, before you sign a property lease, check with the landlord if he or she does seasonal pest control on the property, usually 4 times a year, as a preventive measure for pests.

It’s vital to get the technicalities out of the way before you sign the lease. Generally, your landlord will not cover property damage caused by pests. On the other hand, your renter’s insurance will cover the property damage caused by pests like termites or rats.

Before you move in, make sure to get a pest and termite inspection done with Take Care Termite and Pest Control.

1 Comment

  • Debra Walsh Reply

    On my lease agreement it said that I was responsible for for Pest Control now rats are not Pest Control they are rodents big rodents I live next to a canal I have a pecan tree in my backyard into fruit fruit trees in my house infested I’ve had for rats in here and 6 months and I’ve gone through three stoves in the past the year and I got pictures of crap and piss on top of my entertainment center with a tight and in my stove to had to get rid of my stove is cuz a thin wires but my landlord got mad cuz I try to charge him $120 I would pay the other $450 out of my pocket to get a new stove well he got mad and where do I go from there he should be responsible for something there

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