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#1 Grampa

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

Does anyone have any clauses in their contracts that refer to vermin (mice & rats)

We have have a couple of cases where the tenants have moaned that they have mice and want the landlord/agent to deal with at their cost.

My view is if their are vermin now when there wasnt went the tenancy started it is either:


1 Lifesytle of the tenant

2 The property needs maintence such holes & cracks that need attending to.



Any thoughts or clauses anyone.

#2 Richlist

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:31 PM

No I don't have a 'vermin' clause. I think its a grey area.

Its up to the owner to ensure that there are no gaps in the fabric of the building otherwise there are 2 options.....in this order.

1. Local authority pest control.....you never know your luck they may do it for free......once.

2. Its gonna be a landlord responsibility UNLESS you can prove its the tenants lifestyle.....very unlikely.

Many local authorities instruct tenants to get their landlords to fix a vermin problem.



Good luck.

#3 Mortitia

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

No nothing in my tenancies about vermin but when I have had this sort of complaint the vermin has come from a neighbouring property. Remedy - call council on health grounds and they have sorted it as vermin coming from HB tenants dwelling.

I have thought about renting out my ginger cat, The Rufus on a daily basis as he is top notch at catching anything verminous.

Mortitia

#4 tinkerbell_

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:48 PM

when i saw this title i thought of my tenants...

#5 Grampa

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:56 PM

:D Mortitia if you could just post Rufus to me i will have him back to you by the end of next week.

Regarding the vermin I am not sure what the legal view is.

I sort of take the same view as blocked drains. If they werent blocked when the tenant moved in, it must be something the tenant has done unless there is a fault with the pipework.
Also as it is fairly rural round here you have to expect it sometimes. I get evidence of mice once or twice a year and just put down posion but my house backs onto fields

#6 Melboy

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:27 PM

I have personally killed 70 plus mice in my property and surrounding area by setting traps over the past 2 years. I live semi-countryfied and it is expected.
Mice breed a litter of 4 to 6 mice every 6 weeks.....you do the maths!

We have cats all around the the neighbour's houses including a big Ginger Tom who is probably the SAS of cats and even all these cats on a 24/7 patrol can't keep the mice population down.

#7 COR

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:13 PM

My understanding any such nuisance that begins during a tenancy is a T problem, mice , wasps, .....

It's too difficult to stop mice getting in looking for a warm sleep over as it gets cold, especially if you don'y live there.

#8 Richlist

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

I have a large house, quite rural, backing onto woodland, surrounded by acres of fields........never seen any vermin, mice or otherwise. I do maintain the property and there just aren't any gaps where they could get in. Oh ......and we don't have a cat and neither do my immediate neighbours. So, sounds like a poor excuse to me

#9 COR

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:56 PM

I've a T who rang very frustrated in November. He'd been listening to a mouse, I assume, inside a stud wall, scratching and rustling.
My guess the mouse came in from underfloor and in to the wall from underside to nest. I think a cat would have only got frustrated too.

Not my problem apart from a p*ssed off T who wanted to destroy my wall to kill a mouse. At some point I'll go down and inject 'Fill & Fix' into the bottom of the wall but probably best when the mouse has moved on, April maybe.

#10 Grampa

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:03 PM

I have a large house, quite rural, backing onto woodland, surrounded by acres of fields........never seen any vermin, mice or otherwise. I do maintain the property and there just aren't any gaps where they could get in. Oh ......and we don't have a cat and neither do my immediate neighbours. So, sounds like a poor excuse to me



They are probably too scared to come anywhere near your property.:P

#11 Grampa

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:05 PM

I did read somewhere and cant remember where that wasps nests are the responsibility of the tenant.

#12 Tracey

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:05 PM

Mice can get under gaps of 5mm (yes, really THAT small) so you don't need gaps for them to come in - they can make it under doors.
Our agent (useless as he is) says that if something infests the house after the tenancy starts, it's a tenants' problem.

My friend is currently paying 2k per month rental and has had mice in the property - she bought electric repellents...problem solved.

We have 3 cats and a dog here ....no mice problem ;-)

#13 Grampa

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:34 PM

Painsmith Landlord and tenant blog

During the tenancy if pests arise it will normally be up to the tenant to deal with them (after all the property has been let to them) unless there is some alternative provision in the tenancy agreement. If the cause of the pests is disrepair at the property (for example mice entering through holes in the external walls) then the landlord may also have some responsibility to resolve the issue.

Where pests are present at the start of the tenancy the issue is more complex. A landlord does not ordinarily give a warranty to a tenant that the property is pest free and habitable at the outset of the tenancy. Therefore, it is debatable whether a landlord is necessarily liable for the presence of pests in a property at the start of a tenancy. However, where a property is let furnished a warranty is given that the property is pest-free at the outset of the tenancy (although no warranty is given that it will stay that way) and where a tenant discovers that a furnished property, as a whole, is infested they may be able to declare the tenancy repudiated, move out, and sue for damages following the principles laid down in Smith v Marrable. However, in this case the landlord was clearly refusing to deal with the issue and so it must be doubted whether the same actions could be taken if the landlord was unaware of the infestation and then took all reasonable steps to deal with it on it being brought to his attention. It should also be noted that in Smith the whole property was infested with rats and so the fact that bed bugs were present in a bed would not necessarily be sufficient to allow the tenant to claim repudiation.

If the property is an HMO then the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations will apply. These create a prosecutable offence if the property is not clean at start of tenancy and it may be the case that a Court would hold that the definition of clean should include freedom from pests. However, this has not been tested to our knowledge.

Where tenants import fleas of bugs into a property then the Courts have held that this is a breach of the tenantís implied obligation to use the property in a tenant-like manner.

In short, all landlords should do their utmost to ensure that there are no pests in a property at the outset of a tenancy. Using a professional firm may give the landlord some fallback should pests be found later. Failure to do so might involve serious consequences.



#14 Richlist

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:51 AM

Thanks Grampa.....nothing new there then.....still a grey are and I'm none the wiser for reading a lawyers attempt at clarification.

* Still depends on gaps in the fabric
* Still hinges on ones ability to prove a tenant is at fault

#15 Melboy

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

They are probably too scared to come anywhere near your property.:P


:D

C'mon RL that is funny.


I had mice in my loft just before Christmas so it was just a simple matter of setting mousetraps and that did the trick over a few days.
Mice will always find a way to enter a property somehow. I have no idea where they enter mine as there is absolutely no obvious points of entry.

The only time I would be really concerned is if I had squirrels in the loft.....that is a nightmare of the 1st order and we do have squirrels round and about my area.




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