Are you asking the question “Who is responsible for body corporate pest control?” Pest control is a shared responsibility for tenants and body corporates of multiple occupancy residential complexes.
As a general rule, it is the responsibility of the strata manager, as part of routine maintenance, to maintain common property such as foyers, gardens, recreational shared areas, basements & hallways from general pests. Individual lot owners are responsible for pest issues relating to their property lot.
Termites & Pest Inspections For Strata Management
The questions of who is responsible for & pays for services relating to termite control like termite inspection, termite protection, termite treatment and termite damage replacement costs can sometimes be unclear for multiple occupancy buildings. Generally, and depending on the type of scheme that exists for the dwelling, it is seen as the responsibility of the strata management to prevent termites from entering an owner’s lot by way of crossing over common property and therefore it is the responsibility of the strata company to keep a building termite-free. Another factor that can play a role in termite treatment and repairs to damage is where the infestation originated from, be that a common area or individual lot and if common areas were crossed.
A strata management company and lot owners need to be fully aware of what current pest control measures are in place and who is responsible if an issue arises and costs are incurred. Does your building have a pre-construction reticulation system in place or use a termite barrier? Are annual inspections carried out? Are all areas, common & individual lots, maintained to reduce the likelihood of an infestation and who is responsible for this maintenance? What are the costs associated with these termite control measures and who pays? Your committee should be able to provide you with these answers and be the first place to turn to with any concerns you have over pest control provisions.
Many Dispute Adjudications arise because of pest control issues, it pays to be informed.
Bed Bug Infestations and Inspections For Body Corporate
Bed bugs can pose another problem in the case of multiple occupancy dwellings. Bed bugs cannot be treated like other general pests such as cockroaches and spiders. Getting rid of bed bugs requires a detailed and multi-method (IPM) approach by the pest manager. Not only can it be costly and time-consuming to treat but for total eradication, the occupant also needs to ensure they too perform certain procedures such as treatment of clothes and soft furnishings. Not all lot owners or body corporates are prepared to share in the costs and it can be a grey area as to who pays for treatment and associated costs when bed bugs are crossing over common areas or adjoining lots.
If a bed bug infestation is found in a dwelling within a multiple occupancy residency then it is extremely advisable that adjoining dwellings, as well as dwellings above or below the infested residency, are inspected for bed bugs by a pest manager who has experience in bed bug control and inspections. The owner of the infested property needs to consent to disclose this information to the body corporate or a pest manager who can contact neighbouring occupants to discuss the situation and arrange for inspections. If a neighbouring premise is the source of the infestation and the problem remains unresolved then it is likely reinfestation will occur and treatment is at your own expense. With only about half the population affected by bed bug bites then it is easy to see why some people remain complacent about their responsibilities with spreading the infestation. The body corporate will need to step in to solve the situation where possible. For situations that remain a problem due to ongoing infestations, it may be necessary to contact your local council’s Environmental Officer and/or your State Health Department.
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