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fleas infestation


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hello everybody,

I received a mail from the letting agency who is managing a property with gardens on the front and rear

In that property live a lady with her baby with dss benefits and they must have a massive dog

This is what the letting agency wrote:

"Your tenant has reported that there are fleas in the property and in the past has had City Council out twice to get rid of these. Unfortunately City Council no longer carry out this service and as such we have had to call in a contractor to have a look at this.

There are 3 treatments that are needed – first to kill the adults, second to kill the fleas once the eggs have hatched and a third treatment to make sure that both the first and second treatments have worked. The total cost for these treatments is £210 plus VAT.

These works will need to be carried out and I would be grateful if you could please confirm as soon as possible that you would like me to instruct this as the works can start

Also, the tenant has been unable to live in the property as she and her son have both been bitten badly by the fleas and have asked if you would be in a position to offer them a rent free period, maybe for a couple of weeks?? She had put down new carpets in the bedroom however has had to throw them away due to the infestation.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above."

I agreed to pay for the treatments and to offer them a rent free period for a couple of weeks

But I'd like to know how to fix this issue once and for all

I am shocked that they didn't advise me before but the tenants must have fixed the problem with the council the first and second time

I have heard of fleas only during the second world war!!

What do you think about it?

many thanks

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Too many if and buts here.

A generally accepted rule is that if the infestation is apparent prior to T moving in then it's LL's problem,

If the problem becomes apparent later and therefore would seemingly not have existed until T's having possession the problem is their problem.

The T has a big dog, all dogs carry fleas, I don't accept arguments that "my pet is clean and does not".

The T has already, on 2 occasions, attempted to rectify the problem, here they have taken responsibility for the problem and the failure to rectify.

If this letter was early in a tenancy I would have consideration as to LL responsibility, now, much later, I would be considering the affects on the property by the T.

If you gave permission for the animal you may now have cause to reconsider such in future, but this situation sounds as though it has gone sour. The T can't live there, there are carpets affected that it is hinted are your responsibility, all the while the T is a likely cause.

I would be considering serving a S21 and ask for them to clarify why they believe this is down to you.

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If the tenant has a dog it is their problem. You dont get fleas without dogs or cats. But as Cor states if they were there at the start of the tenancy it would be down to the landlord.

Vermin and pests are normally down to the tenants to resolve.

I would ask the agent why they think it is your responsibility and instruct them to get the tenant to put right for infesting your property otherwise notice will be served.

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many thanks for your replies

the lady and her son are the first tenants since last year

i don't know if their dog was infected

i have never had such experience and honestly i didn't know what to say to the letting agency so i followed their advice about the treatments and to offer them a rent free period for a couple of weeks

how could i serve a S21? and to the letting agency or to the tenants?

i really hope to fix this problem

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This is your property and yet you allow an agent that clearly does not have consideration of your interest to dictate.

In truth my response to the agent would have been "give yer 'ead a shake".

It is their job to know what we have informed you, the T should have been told by them without reference to you, although you should have been informed.

It isn't for you to prove there were no fleas prior to this tenancy as the T sure as hell couldn't show there were, that's too late.

If you don't take the offensive I see you will continue to be abused, but your choice.

Agony Uncle as well.

By 'eck what ever next.

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thanks for your advice

i really appreciate it

i see that i made a huge mistake

i am going to lose the rent for 2 weeks and pay for the treatments

and unfortunately i don't think that these 3 treatments will fix this problem (the letting agency is not managing the property in a good way)

the letting agency made me sign a contract with the tenants for 6 months so the contract has already expired

i can wait and see the next weeks and in case i can change the agency and tenants

what else can i do?

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'Consider' the service of a section 21 notice on the tenant. You have no need to involve the agent in this.

I imagine you will need some research to understand the criteria of using the S21 route. One is to understand your tenancy period and, if you decide to, serve in time for the end of this period to start your 2 months notice rolling.

To help with the decision I would have interest to understand the relationship between T and A, difficult.

Also where the T resided during the time the property was / is uninhabitable. Have they returned prior to treatments ?

I see a strong possibility that following a holiday your T now finds herself skint. Her already having returned to the property could support such a theory ??

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it sounds unbelievable but the parents of the tenants live in the same street

i bought the property and i made some upgradings so they asked if i was interested in letting the property out

about the letting agency i choosed them because they were the letting agency who agreed to let the property at the higher rent

there wasn't any relationship at first but i believe that the letting agency likes the easiest way to carry things

for some reasons i understood that the letting agency isn't working properly

the tenants are living to the family house in the same street and it is a bit difficult to understand why my property is insfested by fleas if the dog may go in both properties from time to time

when i was upgrading the property the dog was in the other property with tenants and family but honestly i don't know where he/she lives at the moment

i wonder if the fleas come from a different source

many thanks for all your replies

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Marco - flea eggs can live dormant in carpets, skirting board gaps and furnishings for up to 2 years! Terrifying ........that is why I agree with Richlist and don't let to people with pets.

You can buy very effective sprays to treat these areas from pet supply companies online such as www.bestpetpharmacy.co.uk or any pest control company and do it yourself. Trouble is fleas on cats and dogs are kept at bay by a monthly treatment of Frontline or similar. This is relatively expensive and must be applied regularly as clockwork or infestation starts. As you can imagine tenants don't keep to this ...........landlord gets the bill.


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