The question of whether landlords or tenants are responsible for pest control issues in a London rented property is a rather grey area due to the fact that it is often hard to determine who is to blame, if anyone.
What is clear, however, is the Housing Act 2004, which states that “residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupant or visitor”.
Who is Responsible for Pest Control and When?
Landlords will be expected to settle the bill if;
- the pest infestation was present in the property when the tenant moved in
there is fault in the property, such as holes in the brickwork that could allow rodents to enter
London tenants are required to abide by certain rules when renting a property. For example, to keep that property in a clean and sanitary state, including the correct disposal of household waste. This is of particular importance in a built-up area like London, as where there are more people, there are more pests. If a pest control issue should break out as a result of not adhering to these guidelines, the tenant will be expected to pay the bill in full.
Another factor to mention here is that London tenants have been known to attract other wild animals onto their premises by feeding them, such as foxes and pigeons. This can lead to a need for pest control and here, again, the tenant would be responsible for the pest control costs incurred.
Councils are not under any statutory obligation to provide pest control to London tenants. However, if a problem is reported to them by a tenant whose landlord is unwilling to cooperate, the council can send out their pest control team to assess the situation and issue a notice enforcing action if it is deemed necessary.
Advice for London Tenants
Top Dog Pest Control advises London tenants to contact their landlord at the very first sighting of a pest control problem. The sooner it is reported, the easier it will be to eradicate and the more likely a landlord will be to cooperate. If an infestation is left to grow, tenants risk their landlord fighting against covering the treatment costs.
It is a landlord’s duty to ensure a property is pest free before a new tenant moves in. Therefore, it is extremely advisable to carry out a thorough check when you first move into a new London property.
Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control who provide residential pest control services in London.