Flea infestion of premises- how it starts, how to end it

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    Flea infestion of premises- how it starts, how to end it

    Hurrah! I finally got rid of my nightmare tenant yesterday after 5 months and am very chuffed that I've managed to do it on my own with some help from the NFRL/NLA and some good advice from people on this forum, so thanks guys!

    However, he has left the place with fleas from his mangey mutt. Obviously I need to change the locks, change the carpets, get the place professionally cleaned, and get a pest control company in to exterminate the fleas. My question is, in what order do I do it all? My preference would be to have the old carpet taken up and then have the pest control people come and spray but my carpet man, understandably, doesn't want to take up and put in his van the old carpet till the fleas are dead. Also if I have the property sprayed by the pest control people and then cleaned will that ruin the effectiveness of the pest control spray.

    Has anyone else had this problem and how did you deal with it?

    #2
    No personal experience but logic would suggest getting rid of the carpet first. There is no point chucking chemicals and money away on a carpet which is going to be binned anyway. I can understand your carpet man's reluctance! May be worth paying the council to come and take it away if you can't get it to the tip yourself.

    Then you can de-infest/disinfect. That should only take a few hours to work then you can clean the house as normal and have new carpets fitted.

    Have fun.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

    Comment


      #3
      Bev,
      I have had this problem.
      Following our efforts to remove the carpets, a friend and myself were covered with quite painful and persistent bites. We pondered on lifes injustices - the tenants apparently hadn't been tortured in this way - and we concluded that while dogs are present, the fleas use the dogs. Once the dogs have gone the fleas use humans as a second-best host.
      I wouldn't suggest taking a dog into the property with you!
      If you are doing the job yourself, you could try spraying insectide the day before and then wearing protective clothing while you remove the carpets. If you employ someone, you can expect complaints. The people removing my tenants furniture were furious but of course we were all working in the property at about the same time and none of us were aware of the problem.
      You could ask a firm like Rentokil to come in and clear the property. This may well be the best way forward, but I think it would be costly.
      The solution depends on your circumstances. The fleas are unpleasant but not lethal so if you are in a position to do the job yourself; it is possible. Protect yourself, get rid of the carpets, use insecticide again then give the place a thorough clean.
      Best of luck.

      Comment


        #4
        Have moved into a place that had been home to cats and pigeons! When you go into the property where a boiler suit if you can and put elastic bands around the cuffs (wrist and ankles!) Wear gloves too. I would rip out the carpet myself and get it to the tip or get the council to collect. Then you can have it deflead or you can do it yourself. I used a spray stuff that was about £10 from pet shop. You will need to repeat the process once a month or so cos the hatching of eggs and advise new tenants to keep an eye on it. The spray I used did quite a large area but you would need a few bottles for the whole house!
        GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

        Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

        Comment


          #5
          Without a food source, the fleas will die in 3 - 7 days. Although the eggs/larvae/pupae will still be around, leaving it for a few days before ripping up the carpet will lessen the chances of getting bitten.

          Just a thought.....
          Health Warning


          I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

          All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by johnjw View Post
            Bev,
            Once the dogs have gone the fleas use humans as a second-best host.
            I wouldn't suggest taking a dog into the property with you!
            I would. Preferably someone else's - ideally, someone you dislike a lot. Chuck jelly- based dog-food all over the carpet and encourage the dog to roll around. Then the dog will get all infested instead of you. Then give the dog back. Problem solved!
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you all for your replies.

              Just about Sane I take my hat off to you for doing it yourself. I'm a total wimp and won't be going anywhere near the place until the fleas are exterminated.

              My estate agent popped round and now has a bad case of 'fleabitis' and he thinks he's got them in his car and office!

              This is what I've done:

              Have found someone to go in there and clear the place out including the carpets. (£140)
              Then pest control man will go in and spray three times at weekly intervals.
              (£120)
              Then first guy will go in and completely clean the place so it gleams like new. (£180)
              Then new carpets fitted.

              Now what I'd like to know is. . . assuming he's been rehoused by the council and I can get him traced, how likely is it that i would get any money out of him. It seems he can afford plenty of cocaine (apparently there are packets littered around the flat) and wacky backy and he can afford to keep the dog, pay his mobile phone, car bills etc. I don't know if he's working, I suspect not, but I assume he's getting benefits. If I take him to the small claims court can I get something like an attachment of earnings but against his benefits. Or am I better off putting it in the hands of a debt collection agency?

              I feel like he's really pee'd on me (and his dog has definitely done that in the property!) and want to know if there's any legal way of getting my own back.

              Comment


                #8
                Of course you can sue him for all the costs and expenses to which he's put you as a consequence of his dreadful behaviour/conduct during the tenancy period- but be careful not to throw good money after bad.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  fleas

                  Can anyone tell me if the letting agent has refunded the deposit as the house was in good condition, has the landlord got any case to try and reclaim the cost of flea fumigation from the previous tenant?

                  Also I am no 100% sure but the property is due to be sold, if the property has been sold, can the new resident reclaim the costs from the previous tenant?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I assume a checkout process was carried out by letting agent, who determined that there was no problem with the property, and agreed to refund deposit.
                    Therefore, as agent was acting on behalf of LL, it is my view that there is no further reason for LL to come back to you. LL should sort it with agent.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Questions related to deposit and cat fleas (tenant)

                      Hi,

                      I am seeking for some legal advice on the following situation

                      - I pay my rent every 8th of each month, for the forthcoming month (so the rent is paid in advance)
                      - I have a notice period of one month
                      - I gave my notice period on 22nd March and left the flat on 9th April (I moved out)

                      First question: I am due the pro-rata temporis until the 21st of April, correct? That amount should be deducted from my deposit by the landlord I assume?

                      Then, we are now the 21st April and I have just been informed by my landlord that

                      - during a visit with an estate agent yesterday, they discovered that the flat was (it seems from what they say) infected by cat fleas. We indeed had a cat in the flat but had not had any issue so far.
                      - they have contacted a pest control company who have advised that the flat will have to be treated (it's a small 28sqm 1 bedroom) during two weeks at a cost yet to be defined
                      - that means to my landlord that he won't be able to have anyone into the flat for the next two weeks

                      What do you think of the above situation and the impact on the deposit? Questions for instance

                      -> Does the date at which the cat fleas have been discovered matter? That was precisely the day after my notice period had ended...
                      -> There has not been any inventory made when I came into the flat, does this matter?
                      -> Do they have to ask for a company to come and treat the flat, or can they not use a simple spray?
                      -> Given the above facts, what costs should I incur? What if I disagree with calling a specialised company that will cost a lot of money? Would I have to incure the cost of the two weeks where the flat cannot be rented while my notice period had ended?

                      Many thanks for your help.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Notice given on 22nd March would be to terminate the tenancy on 7th May because rent is payable in law for a full tenancy period - a month in your case. I am sorry, I don't know what "pro-rata temporis" is. So, there is most of your deposit gone as you owe rent until 7/5/10.

                        If there is any left over, I would submit a dispute to the relevant deposit protction scheme and let them decide what is fair. You could possibly win this due to the lack of initial inventory.

                        If landlord is charging you 'til 7/5/10 then he can't have a new tenant in before the 8th - so any potential 'loss of rent' is irrelevant. I don't think it would be claimable anyway.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Warrior06 View Post
                          Hi,

                          I am seeking for some legal advice on the following situation

                          - I pay my rent every 8th of each month, for the forthcoming month (so the rent is paid in advance)
                          - I have a notice period of one month
                          - I gave my notice period on 22nd March and left the flat on 9th April (I moved out)

                          First question: I am due the pro-rata temporis until the 21st of April, correct? That amount should be deducted from my deposit by the landlord I assume?

                          Then, we are now the 21st April and I have just been informed by my landlord that

                          - during a visit with an estate agent yesterday, they discovered that the flat was (it seems from what they say) infected by cat fleas. We indeed had a cat in the flat but had not had any issue so far.
                          - they have contacted a pest control company who have advised that the flat will have to be treated (it's a small 28sqm 1 bedroom) during two weeks at a cost yet to be defined
                          - that means to my landlord that he won't be able to have anyone into the flat for the next two weeks

                          What do you think of the above situation and the impact on the deposit? Questions for instance

                          -> Does the date at which the cat fleas have been discovered matter? That was precisely the day after my notice period had ended...
                          -> There has not been any inventory made when I came into the flat, does this matter?
                          -> Do they have to ask for a company to come and treat the flat, or can they not use a simple spray?
                          -> Given the above facts, what costs should I incur? What if I disagree with calling a specialised company that will cost a lot of money? Would I have to incure the cost of the two weeks where the flat cannot be rented while my notice period had ended?

                          Many thanks for your help.
                          Other poster is correct you owe rent until 7th May (assuming of course that is the day of the month your contract originally started)

                          I personally think the flea thing is a scam, how on earth did they prove that? lie at floor level and watch for the little horrors to jump,

                          Given you are in theory required to pay rent until the 7th May you should still have access to deal with the problem yourself. Simply buy a can of profesional spray from a vet and present the receipt.

                          Did you reach an agreement in writing with your LL to leave early? and if so what were the terms?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            OK, thanks for your answers. The landlord is considering charging me until the 21st so far - so that is the good thing.

                            Then, can I tell him NOT to use this specialised company and deal with the problem through a professional spray?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well if today is the last day of your tenancy then get the keys and get down to the vets pronto - 'Bob Martins' or other supermarket brands won't be reliable enough. Expect to pay around £20.

                              You have to do this today - you will have no rights to enter the property tommorrow.

                              If YOU resolve the flea problem, your landlor has no need to do so, and can not charge. IF he still tries to charge, you will need the receipt to prove to the deposit scheme that it was sorted.

                              Comment

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