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Who Is Responsible for Pests in a Rented Property?
Are Pests the Landlord’s Responsibility?
As can be expected when it comes to pest infestations it can be somewhat difficult to definitively place the blame with a single party, allowing the landlord or tenant to accept accountability and proceed with addressing the infestation. However, an outbreak of pests within the rental property could have occurred because of a number of reasons, ranging from the occupants failing to properly dispose of waste to even the landlord neglecting to sufficiently seal the property’s structure and exterior, allowing pests to get in.
As the owner of the rental property is legally accountable for the maintenance and upkeep of the home, if the pests are able to gain access to the property due to disrepair, then the issue of the infestation will land solely on their shoulders. Typically landlords will turn to an environmental health inspector, or private firm to assess the property to determine the source of the infestation and address the issue at its heart.
However, with this being said if the cause of the infestation has been found to be the result of the tenant’s actions, then they will be exclusively liable to cover the costs of any remedial work if damage has been caused to the property because of the infestation, alongside the cost of removing the pests from the rental. Similarly, to their duty to notify the owner of any repairs that need carrying out on the property’s grounds, the occupants of the property must also inform the landlord of any pests as soon as they are noticed, minimising the impact to the tenants and helping to remedy the situation before it has chance to develop.
My Landlord Wont Get Rid of Mice?
If the owner of the rental property is proving to be reluctant in taking action to remove mice or any other pests from the premises, the occupants are able to turn to the environmental health department of their local authority. Providing that the infestation of the property is considered harmful, or presents a risk to the safety of the occupants, the local authority is able to condemn the infestation as a statutory nuisance, effectively allowing them to order the landlord to address the outbreak of pests.
With this in mind, it is essential that the occupants of the rental property do not decide to without their expected rental payment from the landlord. Whilst this is one of the best ways to get an owner’s attention, this will not bring a positive outcome for tenants as upon the signing of the tenancy agreement the occupants are legally bound to pay the landlord rent, meaning withholding the due amounts would be considered a breach of the tenancy agreement.
How Much Does the Council Charge for Pest Control?
Whilst it is worth noting that the exact rates will of course vary between different local authorities and the banded tier pricing system they implement tackling a pest infestation could cost owners approximately £100 for an initial visit. However, some councils will have drastically different rates depending on the size of the property and the particular pest that has swarmed the home, but in the overwhelming majority of cases turning to your local authority will be far more cost-effective than a private pest control firm.
Should Landlords Pay For Pest Control?
Enforceable through the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSTS) rental property owners are legally obligated to ensure that they are providing their tenants with a safe, risk and pest-free environment in which to rent. If it is discovered that an infestation has taken place as a result of the landlord’s negligence or failure to property maintain the rental opportunity then they will be legally responsible to remove the pests from the property alongside covering any of the related expenses.
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