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What do I do if I have pests or vermin in my rented property?

When pests and vermin come into a rented accommodation, most problems can be dealt single handily by the tenant. However in the case of a serious outbreak, tenants should contact their council’s environmental health department or a local pest control firm.

Responsibility about who would be in charge of dealing with the issue of pests within a rented accommodation depends upon who is responsible for the issue. Most landlords will be responsible for clearing away the problem of pests, but not if the issue was caused by the tenant.

Infestation by cockroaches, mice, rats, bedbugs, mites and ants can be due to disrepair to the accommodation or due to flaws in the design of the building. There are a number of issues that can arise because of pest infestation and in cases of severe infestation tenants may no longer be able to live in the accommodation.

Reasons for a tenant needing to vacate the property include:

  • They can spread diseases
  • They can damage property
  • Pests can sting and bite
  • They can aggravate medical conditions such as asthma, eczema and allergies.

Who is responsible for removing pests and vermin?

When it comes to identifying responsibility for removing pests and vermin within a rented property the responsibility will usually lie with whichever individual caused the problem; this relates to whether the problem began before the tenant moved in or whether the problem arose after the tenant moved in.

In cases where a tenant is not responsible, the responsibility to remove the infestation would usually lie with the landlord.

If the pest or vermin infestation arose before the tenant moved into the accommodation then the responsibility still lies with the landlord to remove the problem.  

If factors such as holes in the wall or disrepair in the property led to the infestation the landlord is legally obliged to fix the issue. In these cases tenants are able to end the tenancy and move out of the property, although it is essential to get professional advice before doing so.

If the infestation was caused by negligence by the tenant then the responsibility of removing the infestation lies solely with the tenant.

Housing Disrepair Claims

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*No Win No Fee: Our No Win No Fee policy only applies to cases involving council owned properties and those owned by housing associations. No Win No Fee does not apply in cases where the property is owned by a private or commercial landlord.