My tenant has reported finding mouse droppings under the kitchen sink and has heard scratching noises coming from the attic of the property.
They have requested that I organise pest control to do a site visit.
Is this my responsibility or the tenant’s responsibility?
The responsibility for dealing with vermin or other pests and infestations can either be the tenant’s or the landlord’s responsibility, depending upon whose actions or inactions caused the problem.
A rodent issue may be caused by the tenant’s negligence – for example not putting out rubbish, leaving food around the property and leaving external doors open.
Or may be caused by vermin accessing the property through gaps in walls, pipes, sewers, drain-pipes, etc. In the latter case, it is a landlord issue.
It is important to remember the duty of the landlord to ensure that the property is maintained and that all repair and similar issues are dealt with in accordance with the 2004 Tenancies Act.
In the first instance, an issue has been reported to you, and you as landlord must respond to this. We understand that the responsibility lies with the landlord to investigate and rectify the problem.
We suggest that you immediately investigate what is causing the problem and then do what needs to be done to eradicate it.
In doing this you will establish the cause of the infestation, if the cause of the problem is the tenants, you may give a warning, it may be possible to reclaim the cost of engaging a pest control company from the tenants.
However, often the problem arises from unblocked access points near sewers, pipes, drain-pipes, etc, where rodents are accessing the property.
IPOA – Supporting Landlords for Over 27 Years
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