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Tenant refusal of pest treatment: To do or not to do?

Tenant refusal of pest treatment is a common occurrence

Our Rapid Solutions Technical Team receives many interesting questions from our insurance clients. One memorable (and not uncommon) call was about a ‘spray’ job where our insured had been asked to do a treatment on a property but was experiencing tenant refusal of pest treatment.

Unfortunately, when he attempted to organise a start time, the tenant declined access because an occupant was in her third trimester of pregnancy.

Our client wanted to know where he stood. In short, while he was dealing with the owner or real estate agent and had received a go ahead, the tenant had the right to say “No”. What to do?

Steps to managing tenant refusal of pest treatment

In the first place, know your product and your reasons for treatment. You are your best advocate for the product’s safety and the importance of the job to their residence.

Have safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels on hand to show the outcome of trials that have been meticulously recorded by the product manufacturer. SDSs show the toxicity of the product you are using as well as other useful information that may inform the tenant how to protect themselves. The label has information such as re-entry periods.

A property resident won’t know whether or not your treatment will be harmful to them unless you arm them with the details.

If you’ve shared all the information at hand and the tenant still refuses to allow the treatment, ask them to notify the owner or real estate agent. However, don’t rely solely on this.

Approach the person who solicited the work and explain the situation. Make it clear that you are ready to commence whenever they are able to obtain clearance from the tenant. You should ask for this clearance to be in writing.

Is back to the drawing board best?

An alternative to this is to start back at the beginning. While the owner or real estate agent may have asked for a specific form of treatment, in this client’s case a termite chemical application, what you may need to do is provide alternatives to solve their problem.

Some examples would be:

  • Inspections until treatment can be applied
  • Monitoring and baiting systems as an alternative

These management systems involve reduced or no chemical application on the property, thereby removing this tenant’s fear for their unborn child and fulfilling your client’s needs.

Tenant refusal of pest treatment is not a rare occurrence so it’s always best to prepare for the possibility. We are in a time where pest controllers have many alternatives for effectively managing pests, and indeed the practice of pest control in general. The best way to go is not to restrict yourself, and your income, to one method of action.

If you would like to discuss a technical issue similar to this with our industry experts please call 1300 309 169 and we will be more than happy to help. Has this sparked a few thoughts on broadening your knowledge? If you or your staff have a potential skills gap, you should check out our Rapid Training information at https://www.rapidsolutions.com.au/rapid-training/.

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