Anti Social Neighbour and potential Vermin problem

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    Anti Social Neighbour and potential Vermin problem

    My tenant informed me yesterday she thought she'd seen a Rat or Mouse in the Kitchen, I only live 5 mins away and popped over to have a look. I couldn't see any entry/exit points or any signs of droppings, however behind the kickboards under the boiler pipes were some partially eaten Easter eggs and Chocolate which looked like it had been dragged down there.

    The flat to be honest is pretty spotless, however the tenant informed me there has been on-going issues with the new Council Tenant who was moved in to one of the flats in the block. The private back garden of the Council Tenant is covered in rubbish, food and old small animal cages and she is routinely leaving plates of food out in the communal front garden area for 'local wildlife'.

    I went and spoke to a the other to residents in the block (both own the leasehold, council own freehold to building. Apparently they think they'd seen evidence of rodents too such as chewed food in their properties but have no proof etc.

    They also said there's drug dealing and other standard Anti-social behaviour going on to the extent that (allegedly) over 300 complaints have been put into the council about the tenant from residents in the street (right down to stealing a large Iron Gate from someone further down the road ) however they appear hesitant to do anything.

    Yesterday was the first time I was made aware of any of the issues. (When completing the last inspection the council tenant hadn't moved in yet and has only been there 4/5 months)

    I have a Pest controller going in Monday and offered the tenant a hotel until then (she declined). On the advice of the Pest Controller I installed a couple of traps and looked out for any other signs of potentially worse infestation, but couldn't see any. He expects the rodent came up through the boiler pipes from outside or something similar and will have run off when seeing the tenant.

    I will be phoning Environmental Health etc first thing tomorrow to raise the issues and send them the photos I and the other residents have of the food and rubbish etc.

    Is there anything else I should be doing? I want to make sure I don't miss something as haven't had an issue like this before.

    #2
    The infestation isn't really your issue and you should limit your involvement to controlling entry into the property.
    The tenant is responsible for ensuring that the interior of the property is not attractive to vermin - like not leaving chocolate around.

    The tenant is the one who should be complaining to the council about their neighbours.
    You doing so won't hurt, but it's something that the tenand should be doing.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Just a tip about moustraps - forget cheese, mice love peanut butter they can't resist the smell of it.

      When I had mice at my last place (pet/agricultural feed shop next door) I put 2 traps down with peanut butter and had 2 victims within 15 minutes, middle of the day as well.
      I caught 10 altogether over the next couple of days and that was the end of the infestation, although the traps stayed out for another couple of weeks just to be sure.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by red_boots2 View Post
        ............The private back garden of the Council Tenant is covered in rubbish, food and old small animal cages and she is routinely leaving plates of food out in the communal front garden area for 'local wildlife'.
        When a food source and shelter is being provided for rodents they with thrive and multiply. Until this is cleared up you are likely to always have a problem.

        Originally posted by red_boots2 View Post
        He expects the rodent came up through the boiler pipes from outside or something similar and will have run off when seeing the tenant.
        If they find a home in the fabric of the building you will have a problem

        Originally posted by red_boots2 View Post
        I will be phoning Environmental Health etc first thing tomorrow to raise the issues
        You should also advise all other tenants and owners who are affected to take photos and also raise the issue with Environmental Health Dept.

        Comment


          #5
          It is the landlords responsibility IF they are getting in your house.



          https://england.shelter.org.uk/housi...n_rented_homes

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mokka View Post
            It is the landlords responsibility IF they are getting in your house.
            but it says ....

            You are responsible for keeping your home clean and tidy. This is sometimes called 'acting in a tenant-like manner'.

            You shouldn’t do anything that could attract pests, such as leave food or rubbish out. You should clean regularly.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the advice so far, I think this is potentially one of those frustrating 'grey areas' normally leaving an Easter egg out wouldn't be a problem and as I've said the flat itself is clean. It's the state of the neighbouring tenants garden and most likely house which is the problem. From what I can see and photo's I've taken it looks like there's sheets strewn over bags of rubbish in the garden to hide them and there are black bin bags just dumped and ripped in the communal garden

              If rodents get in and infest it will become a bigger issue for me so hopefully acting sooner will prevent this. I have reminded the tenant that if there are anti social behaviour issues it is best to deal with them when they arise and whom to report them to as I'm not best placed to help in that aspect.
              Last edited by red_boots2; 24-04-2022, 16:31 PM. Reason: Typo

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by AlexR View Post

                but it says ....

                You are responsible for keeping your home clean and tidy. This is sometimes called 'acting in a tenant-like manner'.

                You shouldn’t do anything that could attract pests, such as leave food or rubbish out. You should clean regularly.
                yes tenants responsibility is keeping the place clean and outside of the property but if there are holes in the property then the landlord is responsible.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mokka View Post

                  yes tenants responsibility is keeping the place clean and outside of the property but if there are holes in the property then the landlord is responsible.
                  I agree and this is something I looked for but couldn't see. Pest Controller is going to look again with me tomorrow, they advised it is possible for the type of building for them to get in behind cupboard backboards of one property for example and through the floorboards into another.

                  I think as the other residents have had similar problems this is most likely the case which is why I want to act quickly even if it is a cost I could arguably avoid.

                  The newly Council tenanted property was empty all throughout Covid-19 due to the previous tenant dying and she's lived there 40+ years, the whole place needed gutting etc so I suspect there are unpatched holes etc as the flat had a new boiler and heating system put in etc as well as all of the electrics rewired.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mokka View Post
                    It is the landlords responsibility IF they are getting in your house.
                    No, it really isn't and the Shelter guidance doesn't say that they are responsible.

                    It's the landlord's responsibility if they're getting in because something needs repairing - so there are holes where there shouldn't be, for example.
                    That's fair enough, there shouldn't be unnecessary holes in the fabric of a property.

                    But if the vermin are coming in where there have to be holes, like in an air brick, or through the plumbing (or a window, door or cat flap), the landlord doesn't have anything they can do or have to do to fix the situation.

                    And despite Shelter implying otherwise, that applies even if the infestation makes the property uninhabitable - if there's nothing the landlord has done to allow the infestation, there's nothing they need to do to stop it or fix it.
                    If the infestation is present before the property is let, that's different - because the landlord is responsible for the condition of the property when they let it.

                    And no vermin are going to come into somewhere where there's no food available more than once or twice.



                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would be contacting your MP if the council have had the number of compliants you mention already and this new council tenant has only be there a short time then the council are clearly doing sod all, it needs raising a lot higher, i would also get the tenant to contact the Police if there is ASB in the block, again they should be doing something about it....... i do agree that this is not your issue but it could have the potential of lowering the value of YOUR property or making it difficutl to let, i certainly would not wish to live in a flat surrounded by what you have described.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I would contact the council too. If it's their tenant encouraging them they may send someone round. My council will send a pest control for free if you have rats.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          jpkeates,

                          Assuming the tenant kept the property clean inside and outside areas, landlord is responsible as vermin somehow made their way inside of the home ( through drainage and into the kitchen under the kitchen tiles is one way). A visit from the environmental health department will also clarify this on whether the tenant or landlord is responsible.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Apologies for none or multiple tags as my phone is being weird...

                            Mokka and Jpkeates; isn't it possible in this scenario you're both correct? Tenant has done right, I have too but potential building design or lack of maintenance from the freeholder causes it? For example we pay the freeholder for all outside maintenance and gardening of communal areas as per leaseholder agreement as we own nothing bar internal installations, fixtures and fittings! So for example not the windows, brickwork or front doors.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              red_boots2 It’s possible. But in the scenario you describe, as far as the tenant’s concerned, the freeholder related issues are your issues - you’re their landlord and they have no relationship with the freeholder. A local authority would be able to act against the freeholder, though.


                              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                              Comment

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