Common area prior notification

When pesticides are applied in the common areas of multiple occupancy residential complexes, residents must be notified before the application by the organiser (generally the strata or property manager or real estate agent), and during the application by the pest management technician.

Compulsory notification of pesticide use in this instance is regulated by the EPA under Part 5, Division 3 of thePesticides Regulation 2017.

Multiple occupancy residential complexes

Multiple occupancy residential complexes include

  • flats, home units and apartments 
  • townhouses and villas
  • caravan parks with long-term residents 
  • other multiple occupancy domestic and residential complexes, but not dual occupancies

Common areas

Common areas include

  • foyers
  • hallways
  • stairwells
  • shared laundries and car parks
  • roof cavities and underfloor space
  • building exteriors
  • gardens, pathways and fences.

Your responsibilities when organising pest treatments

If you are responsible for organising pest treatments in the common area of a multiple occupancy residential complex, you must notify residents at least 5 working days before a pesticide is applied. Notice can be given

  • to each individual resident in person or by fax, email, telephone or post, or 
  • by placing a written notice in each resident's letterbox, or under each resident's door, or 
  • by placing written notices on the main notice boards at the residential complex and at the main entrances and exits to each building in the complex

The notice should contain the following information

  • the name of the pesticide you are using
  • why the pesticide is being applied (e.g. what pests are being treated)
  • where the pesticide will be applied in and around the complex
  • the date or range of dates when the pesticide is being applied
  • any re-entry requirements that are on the pesticide label or permit
  • the contact details of the person, or office, applying the pesticide

For more information and help

Once you have given residents notice, you can give the pest management technician the earliest date that they can start treating the complex. If a pest management technician applies pesticides before the legal notice period has passed, you could be fined.

You must keep a paper copy of any written notice you give for 3 years. If notice is given by phone or in person, you must make a written diary entry recording the call or conversation and who you spoke to.  

Pest management technician’s responsibilities

Before starting a job at a multiple occupancy residential complex, you must ensure the person organising the treatment

  • has all the details they need of how and where you plan to use the pesticide
  • has given all residents at least 5 working days' notice of the use of pesticides in the complex

Before applying the pesticide in any common area, you must display a notice. Your notice should include the same details as the notice sent out by the strata or property manager. You can add extra information if you wish.

For more information and help

Residents need to easily see the notice, so put it

  • on the main noticeboards
  • if applying pesticides to internal common areas, at each entrance of the building
  • if applying pesticides to external common areas, at each entrance of a building adjoining the common area

The notice must continue to be displayed

  • while the pesticide is being used
  • for the length of time afterwards during which the area should not be entered

If you are using a pesticide baiting program and notice has already been given of the program, you do not have to give further notice of any second or subsequent installation of pesticides in baits.

If a resident requests a safety data sheet (SDS) for the pesticide that is being used, you must provide them with a copy as soon as practicable. Failure to do so is an offence.

When you write up your report of having used pesticides at a multiple occupancy residential complex, ensure you include a record of

  • the notice given to residents
  • when and where you put up the notices

Keep a paper copy of the records for at least 3 years.

Find out more about record keeping

What to do in an emergency

A pest emergency is a sudden infestation of dangerous, biting or stinging pests such as rodents, wasps, bees, venomous spiders and bird mites that pose risks to health and safety.

If a pest emergency occurs and pesticides need to be used in a common area

  • strata or property managers do not have to give residents prior notice
  • pest management technicians must still provide notice to residents during the pesticide application

Notice should be given in the manner described previously, that is, putting up notices on notice boards and at entrances, and a record of the notice given to residents should be kept for three years.

Penalties and fines

If a pesticide is applied in any common area of a multiple occupancy residential complex without notice being given to residents, on-the-spot penalty notice fines of $800 for corporations or $400 for individuals may apply. For serious offences, court-imposed fines of up to $44,000 could apply to corporations and fines of up to $22,000 could apply to individuals.

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