It’s often unclear
what responsibilities fall to landlords and housing associations, and what
falls to the tenant in rented housing. When it comes to pest and vermin
control, you understandably want the problem sorted quickly, especially if the
inside of the property is infested.
So, how can you
determine who is responsible for getting rid of unwelcome friends? Well, your
first port of call should be your tenancy agreement. This document should give
you some indication about whose responsibility it is to deal with the pests.
Your housing association pest control policy (if they have one in place) should make it clear who is responsible for getting rid of intruders such as rats, mice, cockroaches, fleas, ants, mites and bedbugs.
Usually if you live
in a multi-dwelling property like a block of flats and the problem exists in a
communal area like a bin store or a hallway, it is your landlord or housing
association’s job to get rid of the problem. Similarly, if the problem is in
your own flat or house, it is usually down to you to deal with it. Keep in mind
that rules and regulations regarding pest control differ from one housing
association to the next and are influenced by relevant local laws.
The policy might
state that an Environmental Health officer needs to come in and identify the
cause of the problem before blame can be placed. If the officer found that the
infestation was a result of disrepair in a communal area, such as a hole
connecting the outside and inside, then it would be the association’s job to
resolve the issue. However, if you have a pile up of bin bags in your kitchen
which is attracting ants or cockroaches, this would be your responsibility.
When are pests like cockroaches and rat’s
If the infestation is
found to be caused by an issue of disrepair on council land, it will be their
responsibility to fix the problem. For example, if you live in a block of flats
which is nearby to a council-owned waste disposal centre which has been poorly
maintained, and rats are infesting communal areas in your block, this would be an
issue for the council to sort out. Your local council will have a pest control
service, which they will be able to instruct to deal with the problem if you
live in council-owned housing.
If the infestation is
harmful to your health, then it may be considered a statutory nuisance. If this
is the case, then your local council may be able to force your landlord to fix
When an infestation
of pests or vermin poses a threat to your health and safety, it could be
considered a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Your
council has duties and powers to take action if this is the case.
What you can do?
Make sure that you
report the problem as soon as you notice it … Read More... “Pests and Vermin – Who’s Responsible?”