Responsibilities for pest and vermin control in social and council homes

Having pests and vermin in your home is unhygienic and can make you feel very uncomfortable. Vermin can also make you ill as many carry harmful bacteria. Sometimes they enter your home due to disrepair issues like cracks in the walls and holes around waste pipes.

If this is the case and your landlord has not made the necessary repairs to the home to stop the vermin infestation we could help you make a claim for repairs and compensation.

We can help you if your landlord has neglected to fix disrepair issues in your social or council owned home, which has resulted in unwanted vermin and/or pests entering and living in your property. With our help, you could claim for the disrepair to be resolved. In addition, you may also get compensated for any suffering and illness the pests and vermin have caused you.

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Here at AWH we can offer you expert legal advice and guidance if your housing association or council has failed to make repairs  that will prevent the infestation of pests in your home.

Our expert housing disrepair solicitors have many years of experience helping people living in property infested with vermin or pests. Our team will assess the circumstances and damage to help determine whether the problem has been caused by your landlord’s failure to fix disrepair issues before we get started on your claim.

We could help you make a claim for repair work to be done if we find your landlord is at fault. We could also help you claim to get compensated for financial losses, illness and injury you have suffered as a result of the disrepair. Unfortunately we currently do not take on disrepair cases for tenants renting privately.

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Who is responsible for pest control when renting?

People are often unsure of who is responsible for pest control in a rental property, so it’s useful to check your tenancy agreement to see if it’s mentioned in there. Not all tenancy agreements cover the issue, but if yours does then you need to follow the process it lays out.

Unlike other housing disrepair issues, it isn’t always simple to establish who is to blame for pests and vermin. In order to get the best idea, though, you will need to find out how and why they got into your home.

When you contact us, we’ll arrange for one of our experts to visit your home to assess whether we can help you make a claim. We can proceed with a claim if we find that your social landlord’s negligence to carry out repairs has led to a pest or vermin control issue.

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Types of vermin and pests

There are over 70 types of pests and vermin catalogued by the British Pest Control Association. Some of these are much more common than others. The pests and vermin you are most likely to come across in your home include:

  • Ants and spiders
  • Bed bugs and fleas
  • Cockroaches
  • Cluster flies
  • Mice and rats
  • Silverfish

Different pests will be attracted to your home for different reasons. For example, excessive rubbish and old food can attract rodents like mice or rats, whereas dampness can attract cockroaches and silverfish.

Pests and vermin could affect one or multiple rooms in your home. They might cause damage to your belongings as they could for example chew or live in clothes or furniture. They can pose health risks too, such as causing food poisoning, skin conditions, and even electrocution by destroying wires.

We can assess if we can help you make a claim if your home has attracted vermin or pests because of other disrepair issues that your social landlord is responsible for.

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Landlord responsibilities

Your landlord is required by law to maintain and repair your home if the disrepair was not caused by you. This means that you could make a claim if any pests or vermin are entering the property because of your landlord’s failure to resolve one or multiple of the following issues:

It is important that any disrepair issues are fixed before fumigation to get rid of the pests takes place. Otherwise they may come back not long after they are removed.

If it is determined that your landlord is to blame for the pest and vermin control problems in your home, they should treat the issue as they would any other health hazard. This means that they should take action to deal with the problem straight away. This might mean that your home will need to be vacated whilst repairs are carried out. Your landlord will need to pay for alternative housing for you if this is the case.

Sometimes landlords do not fulfil their legal duty and deny that they are to blame for pest or vermin problems. We can help you make a claim against your social landlord if they are refusing to conduct the works needed to rectify the defects that would prevent any pest infestation and as a result  you have been significantly affected by the infestation in your home.

It is always best to alert your landlord of the problems in writing before seeking legal advice. Our housing team can only help you if you have already told your social landlord but nothing has come of your complaint.

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Tenant responsibilities

When it comes to pest and vermin control, there is a chance that the issue could be yours to resolve. This will only be the case if the pests have entered your home due to your actions, such as:

  • Infrequent cleaning
  • Leaving food out
  • Excessive clutter
  • Failing to ventilate
  • Keeping rubbish in or around your home
  • Piling dirty laundry

You will be to blame for the vermin and pests if you have no disrepair issues which could have attracted them, but are guilty of one or more of the above actions.

If you are found to be responsible for pests entering your home, you will have to cover the expenses yourself. This would include pest and vermin control services and treatment. You will also have to pay for alternative accommodation if the property needs to be fumigated.

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Our housing disrepair specialists can help

You deserve to live in a safe, pest-free environment, and if your social landlord is denying you that we can help.

When you claim, you will be able to request that the necessary repairs are performed in your home. You could also be compensated for any injury and illness you have suffered at the hands of your landlord.

Here at AWH we want to help people like you, who have been subject to appalling living conditions and have suffered as a result. Contact our team today to see how we can help you live comfortably in your home once again.

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