Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s important to know who needs to take care of things when it comes to having a pest control problem. Whether it’s a mice infestation in rented property, or a problem with bed bugs, it’s vital to know the rules of landlord pest control responsibility UK.
What is the landlord pest control responsibility UK?
Before you contact a pest exterminator (because this should be the first thing you do when you spot pests in your home), you should first have a look at your tenancy agreement. It may not be that your tenancy agreement includes anything about pest infestations, but if it does it will give you the information you need to take the next steps.
Remember that pest control problems, if they are severe, do actually class as a health hazard. That is something that a land lord should be dealing with. Pest control problems are difficult to put a blame on. There’s lots of different reasons why a property may be experiencing pest control problems, anywhere from disrepair to living conditions. So to find out who is responsible for a pest control problem in your rented property, you need to find the root cause of how the pests entered the premises.
When The Landlord Is Held Responsible
Landlords are required by UK laws to make sure you’re property is always properly maintained. This includes removing anything considered to be a health hazard. It’s their legal duty to you because you pay rent to them.
So if you’ve got rodents such as a rat problem in your property because of disrepairs, it’s the landlords job to repair it. It’s also their responsibility to treat the problem as well if the pests can be proven to have got it through cracks and crevices in the property. To do this though, you will need the help of a professional pest inspector. They can identify the root cause and the entry point for the pests in your home.
Here are some reasons are pest infestation may happen in your home because of lack of or poor maintenance conditions.
- Cracks and crevices in the walls – Any holes, gaps and cracks are the perfect entry points for pests to get into your home. Especially at this time of year when it’s getting cold. A pest would love to set up house in your warm, cosy home. Remember to include the roof in repairs, as this is the most common entry point for a lot of pests.
- Broken plumbing – Having leaking pipes and blocked guttering causes damp and mould. Moist conditions are the perfect place for a lot of pests, and are a huge attraction for a pest infestation. It’s really important to tell your landlord about any problems with damp in your rented property. Not only for pest prevention but also from a health aspect too.
When A Tenant Is Held Responsible
Sometimes though, as hard as it is to admit, you could be the ones causing the pest control problem. These causes could be down to your lifestyle, such as:
- Failing to adequately clean up food
- Not cleaning and tidying the house regularly
- Not ventilating and keeping your home aired out
- Letting clutter build up and not tidying it away
- Not taking your bins out or not putting rubbish in sealed bins
- Leaving dirty laundry and damp towels/clothing on the floor
If you keep your property clean and tidy and can’t pinpoint a pest infestation to any of these reasons, you may have bought pests in from somewhere else. If you travel a lot, bed bug infestations can come home with you. You can even pick up bed bugs from the back of a taxi or cinema seat. So it’s up to you to check and see if your bed bugs are your landlords responsibility in the UK.
When you determine that the pest infestation is your fault, you need to call in professional pest control services to treat the problem. It will depend on what type of pest you have to what treat a pest exterminator will use.
If the pest control issue is not your fault, you should treat it just like any other health hazard on your property and get in touch with the landlord. You should contact them as soon as possible to inform them of the situation.
Whoever is responsible for the treatment of the pests should immediately phone a pest control service. Choose one that is experienced in dealing with that type of infestation. Landlords may be reluctant to deal with infestations because it’s hard to determine the cause. So in this case you can contact your local council and speak to the Environmental Health Department.