Who is responsible for sorting out mouse infestation?

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  • Who is responsible for sorting out mouse infestation?

    My tenants have advised me they have a mouse problem I looked at the Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which is on a 'rolling tenancy' at the moment and it clearly states under Tenants Obligations that the Tenant must "pay and arrange for the removal of all vermin, pests and insects, if infestation begins during the Term" - which it did as I had a cat when I lived there. Also my first tenants who lived at the property for a year had no such problem. They are Council tenants and have spoken to the Environmental department at Wandsworth Council about the matter. The tenants then advised me that the Council say it is the Landlords responsibility. When I spoke to the Council they tell me that the clause in the Tenancy Agreement is 'not legally binding'. Can anyone tell me who needs to pay Wandsworth Council the £82.00 that it will cost to clear the property of the vermin? Thanks for any info/advice.

  • #2
    This is Shelter's view on the matter..
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...sts_and_vermin

    I'd want to ensure tenants confirmed that they'd not left food/debris about & kept the place tidy (you'd know that from your inspections..). Assuming this is the case in your shoes I'd pay Wandsworth, een though they are who they are...

    I'd agree with council's view on your clause...

    Any landlord wants any vermin (of all varieties..... ;-) ) out sharpish...
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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    • #3
      I don't agree that it is necessarily the landlord's problem, and if the premises are as secure as possible against vermin infestation then the clause within the AST would be enforceable. Shelter's version is only an opinion. If you occupy premises then you can't expect the landlord to be nanny too!
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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      • #4
        Many thanks for your reply. I inspected the property about 6 months ago it was spotless. Does that mean that the whole Tenancy Agreement is not legally binding then? For example they could take out all of my furniture break it into pieces in the street and there is nothing I could do about it?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brostafarian View Post
          Many thanks for your reply. I inspected the property about 6 months ago it was spotless. Does that mean that the whole Tenancy Agreement is not legally binding then? For example they could take out all of my furniture break it into pieces in the street and there is nothing I could do about it?
          Sorry! Don't follow this line of thought. Of course your AST is legally binding unless there happens to be potential unfair contract terms within it, but only the courts can decide this.
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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          • #6
            Do not take legal advice on landlord/tenant liability from someone at the council.

            The tenant should pay for the pest control if the infestation occurred after the tenancy began and if the infestation is not caused by disrepair in the structure.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Brostafarian View Post
              Does that mean that the whole Tenancy Agreement is not legally binding then? For example they could take out all of my furniture break it into pieces in the street and there is nothing I could do about it?
              Like Paul_f, I'm mystified by this line of thought, but the tenancy agreement remains binding and the T cannot breach the agreement by breaking the furniture and expect to suffer no consequences.

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              • #8
                IMO T resp for eradication of vermin LL resp for repair of ingress route if due to fault in fabric of building eg hole in wall hence poss moral duty to pay for eradication.
                Wandsworth only advised that specific clause may not be legally binding, not that the whole AST was void. If nec seek clarification from Wandsworth, to date you only have Ts transaltion.

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