Pest Control In Rented Properties

Pest Control In Rented Properties - picture shows a rat in a crack in a house wall

Pest Control In Rented Properties

Pest control in rented properties is not only a matter of maintaining the property but also plays a crucial role in ensuring tenant satisfaction and safeguarding the value of the investment. While many tenancy agreements include a clause stating that tenants are responsible for any pest activity during their tenancy, this issue is often more complex than landlords and letting agents might anticipate. It’s important to understand that certain circumstances, such as structural defects or design flaws in a building (did you know, a rodent can squeeze through a gap the thickness of a standard pencil?), can make pest control a landlord’s responsibility, regardless of what the tenancy agreement states. This understanding is vital in navigating the legal landscape effectively and maintaining a positive relationship with tenants.

Pest Control and Legislation

All Letting Agents and Landlords will no doubt be familiar with the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 which amended the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation; and for connected purposes. This applies at the time the tenancy begins, and continues for the whole term of the agreement, so is not just a one-point in time obligation. It important to be aware that anything in a tenancy contract or agreement regarding responsibility for pests does not take precedence over any statutory obligations regarding structural defects or disrepair etc that may be the cause of pest activity.

Pest activity is also included in the 29 hazards listed in the Housing Health & Safety Rating System introduced by the Housing Act 2004 which covers residential properties in England and Wales.

There are a range of other powers that local authorities can use in respect of pest activity in tenanted properties, including amongst others:

From a Landlord or Letting Agent perspective, it is essential that you promptly consider all tenant complaints of pest activity and suitable investigations are undertaken to determine who is responsible for resolving this. Taking a blanket approach of simply referring tenants to any contract or tenancy agreement which might state that they are responsible for all pest activity can end up backfiring.

The images below all have one thing in common, even though the gaps are of varying sizes, they each allowed pests to enter the homes. Drain defects in particular are a very common source of rat activity in properties.

Potential Repercussions

There has been a recent increase in legal firms willing to take on tenants’ cases on a no-win no-fee basis for all manner of housing disrepair claims, including pest activity. This can become time consuming and very expensive, and can potentially result in rent repayments being made against Landlords, or other action against Landlords or Letting Agents who have not ensured rental properties are fit for habitation.

How We Can Help

At iX5 Pest Control we can help you with this. We can swiftly undertake surveys and investigations for Landlords and Letting Agents to identify the potential cause of pest activity and can provide a written report with supporting evidence, to set out who we believe is responsible for resolving it. We can also advise on remediation and preventative measures, like fixing cracks and gaps in the property structure.

With a background in Local Government Environmental Health, along with appropriate professional accreditations and memberships, we can help ensure you do not fall foul of potential action by tenants or their legal representatives.

We also offer pest eradication services where Landlords or Letting Agents are considered responsible. Our involvement at an early stage can help you avoid potentially lengthy and costly legal action and help protect your reputation.

We offer Pest Control services for landlords and letting agents in Northampton, Daventry, Rugby, Market Harborough, Towcester, Brackley, Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Olney and all of the surrounding areas. Our team of specialists are available both evenings and weekends at no extra cost. Should you require assistance call us on 01604 328545, email [email protected] or use our simple contact form. Contact us today to find out more and discuss how we can help you!


Pest Control In Rented Properties

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