Mice infestation - who is liable?

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    Mice infestation - who is liable?

    Hi,

    I am a tenant and we recently took over the lease to a house that was infested by mice. We noted the infestation on viewing before we signed the contract and were assured by the landlord's managing agent that it would be dealt with before we moved in. We've now been here a month and have found mouse faeces all around our kitchen, our food is being nibbled and we've seen the culprit running around too! Under the law, is our landlord liable to deal with the problem, and if so, could you point me to the section of law that refers to this matter? Furthermore, is he liable to pay us compensation for loss of food items and the risk to our health?
    Thanks,

    Louise

    PS. Just to make clear. We have contacted the managing agents about this several times since we moved in. The response we finally got was that the landlord would reimburse us if we bought traps. Without wanting to seem ridiculously girly, we're all very uncomfortable with the idea of having to deal with the mice ourselves. The agent advised me to write to the landlord, which is why I'm now trying to establish our legal standing. The mice problem is also in addition to the fact we've not had a working oven since we moved in!

    #2
    Originally posted by xandria_uk View Post
    Hi,

    I am a tenant and we recently took over the lease to a house that was infested by mice. We noted the infestation on viewing before we signed the contract and were assured by the landlord's managing agent that it would be dealt with before we moved in. We've now been here a month and have found mouse faeces all around our kitchen, our food is being nibbled and we've seen the culprit running around too! Under the law, is our landlord liable to deal with the problem, and if so, could you point me to the section of law that refers to this matter? Furthermore, is he liable to pay us compensation for loss of food items and the risk to our health?
    Thanks,

    Louise
    Well, L obviously at fault.

    Why not start by contacting him nicely? He is in breach of tenancy agreement, for a start.

    If that fails, tell local authority pest control (although local authorities are themselves usually pests).
    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).

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      #3
      Originally posted by xandria_uk View Post
      We noted the infestation on viewing before we signed the contract and were assured by the landlord's managing agent that it would be dealt with before we moved in.
      When you say "we were assured", what did that consist of?

      If it were me, I would not sign any contracts until I had proof that at the very least some physical effort had been made by the landlord to rectify the problem.

      What have you done to alleviate the problem yourself so far?

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        #4
        We mentioned it to the agents when we were discussing the terms of the tenancy, and he seemed as disgusted as were were and dismissed it with [paraphrased] 'Oh that'll all be sorted out'. None of us live near the property so we didn't look at it again until we moved in, and when we did all the mouse droppings were gone, so really we had no way of knowing what they had done since we'd viewed it a month previously.

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          #5
          AFAIK the landlord has no legal responsibility, generally, to remove pest infestation. However, in this case they clearly have as they promised to deal with it prior to you moving in. Did you get this in writing?
          Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

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            #6
            We didn't get it in writing, and we should have done. The agent noted it down with our other queries, though I doubt he will have a record of that. There were five of us there who can vouch for it being said though.

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              #7
              I think this is a case of attempting a compromise purely because you haven't anything in writing to show this was a pre-existing problem.

              Why not WRITE to the agent suggesting that you will call in the LA Pest Control Department to resolve the issue and would the LL be willing to spilt the cost?

              Other than than, all I can suggest is that you buy proprietory brand mouse & rat killer which has a slow acting ingredient ( I think it's arsenic based which thins the blood) and will kill the rodents within about 2 weeks....

              The other thing I have to pick up on is this ... "our food is being nibbled " ... why are you leaving food out that it CAN be nibbled at by rodents ??

              You have to undertake a certain amount of "good housekeeping" yourself in order to reduce any rodent infestation.

              Be prepared for the LL to say no.
              Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

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                #8
                Of course this is a pain, but if you want to resolve it easily, go to hardware shop, you can buy a ullta sonic device/devices that you just plug into socket and that will drive all rodents away, if you put bait down, they will die under floorboards or in walls and the smell will be terribe.

                there are two types of these devices,that i have used to great effect,the one type are sold normally in packs of 4 for about £15, and each one covers one room, the other single unit cost about £60 but will cover the whole building, and you can take them with you when you move.
                Opinions given are mine, They are not necessarily correct, as the more I learn the less I know, You should always seek professional help.

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                  #9
                  I am not sure where I read it and my time is almost up here at the library (yes still no net! Sky BB are useless!!) .. I am sure that any infestation within 3 months of tenant occupancey is down to Landlord to deal and any after that is tenant.

                  Sorry to be so short!
                  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!

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