Keeping your property clear of pests is
often an arduous and challenging task.
Freeholder & Leaseholder:
- As a freeholder or leaseholder, you are expected, as far as possible, to keep your property free from pests and in a way, that neither attracts them nor makes it easy for them to occupy or enter the property. The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 is still in force, and you could be served with a statutory notice to eradicate the pests if an infestation at your property is causing a problem for tenants or neighbours.
- It is expected that all freeholders and leaseholders should guarantee the healthy living conditions for any tenant, prior to them moving in. Moreover, they must ensure that, if any, repair work is completed in a manner that isn’t causing nor making a pest problem worse.
Tenants are normally responsible to deal with the pests if they:
- Fail to notify the landlord on time, delay pest treatments or fail to successfully arrange the extermination and proofing of the rental property on time. In such cases the infestation might spread even further and endanger other residents or cause structural damage to the property or surrounding areas.
- If a tenant attracts vermin inside a building because of negligent behaviour (for example improper waste disposal or increased risk of infestation due to frequent traveling) and this is supported by an investigation from a Health Officer, the tenant becomes fully responsible to resolve the pest issue.
- Tenants of private landlords, housing associations and RSLs, can reach out and seek help from the local council. This usually happens after their landlord has refused to deal with the issue.
- The council is obliged to investigate the circumstances which led to an infestation but will also check if the tenant has lawfully informed the landlord of the situation. Therefore, it is not recommended for tenants to contact the council before they try to resolve this with their landlord, as they might be referenced back to their landlords anyways, therefore losing precious time and risk worsen the situation.
- If the tenant fits the council’s requirements, it will serve an enforcement notice on the landlord to deal with the pest. Such notices may also be served on tenants if they refuse to take responsibility for pest control in the opposite scenario.
- Any council will work towards partnership with both sides to resolve the issue, however, the side that is responsible in the situation will be eventually forced to deal with the pest.
Do it yourself pest control:
Depending on the pest problem and how severe it is, there’s a chance you can handle it yourself. Here are the pros and cons of this method of extermination:
- Relatively cheap way to manage pests at home
- You are in control of the substances used around your property
- There are green ways of deterring pests you can utilise
- Suitable for minor pest problems
- You may not succeed
- It takes time, effort and extensive research
- A second treatment might be even more expensive
- Some pests require professional knowledge