Bugs, Bugs everywhere!

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  • Bugs, Bugs everywhere!

    Hi there,

    I am six months into my lease and my landlord and others in the building have started doing major renovations to the exterior of the property. Since this has started I have noticed a variety of creepy crawlies all over the place. I did a good clean of the place and sprayed it with a variety of products. I have even taped up all the holes all over the show (our property isn't very well built). However, it doesn't seem to help! This morning I woke up with some sort of bug crawling on my face

    I have let my landlord know this but he is ignoring all my calls. He is a lawyer and I don't want to kick up a fuss if I am in the wrong and it is my problem.

    I just don't feel it is as it has only started since this building work outside.

    What are my rights?

  • #2
    If there is a condition in your tenancy agreement about not keeping pets, then in allowing these bugs residence, you will be breaking the terms of your lease!!

    Seriously though - I think that neither landlord or you is liable at law - and a little co-operation between you might be the best way of going about things - tell the landlord the problem and ask if he can help towards the cost of treatment. I would imagine, but I am not an expert on bugs - that the uplift in them is caused by the replacement of decrepit woodwork or brickwork and the bugs home is being disturbed - I am sure it will only be a short term problem though unpleasant for you - the onset of summer has obviously not helped.


    • #3
      A summary of Paul F's previous guidance on the matter of infestation:

      Answer on responsibility for the removal of vermin is "as stated in the tenancy agreement". In the absence of which it would normally be that of the tenant unless the landlord had failed in his duty to make the property "secure" against such infestations. What is meant by secure is the property should be free from defects that might contribute to wasps or other vermin entering the property, like holes in brickwork, gaps under eaves etc.
      The tenant is responsible for the control of rodents or other infestations such as wasps etc. but the landlord has to take reasonable precautions to prevent this. The landlord can't be expected to make the property 100% rodent proof. This would include having done his/her best to ensure that the property has had any likely or obvious entrance points blocked up where possible. If he/she has done this then the landlord’s liability would end there.

      IMHO these particular postings concerned rats / squirrels / mice. I don't think any landlord could be expected to make a property insect-proof. Also, from experience, there's a bit of the same problem that people get when work is done on their cars - mechanic fixes the exhaust, car-owner takes the car back a week later saying "ever since you fixed my exhaust my windscreen wiper has stopped working...." In other words, just because 2 events coincide it doesn't necessarily mean one event caused the other. Insects could typically be expected to be more numerous inside (a) in warm weather and (b) when the windows are open more often, ie summer months.

      Even if the landlord's work is causing insect disturbance, he has a duty to maintain his building - sometimes landlords feel they can't win either way - do no maintenance and the tenant is unhappy, do maintenance and the tenant is unhappy.

      I'm sure you can try using powders / sprays, but they only work for a limited time. You can get small plug-in electric zappers which attract the flying insects and kill them - they are available on travel sites. Your landlord might agree to pay for these but I very much doubt he has any obligation to do so.


      • #4
        I moved into my new home approx 3 weeks ago, and there is a wasps' nest just under the guttering by the bedroom window.
        The council will charge me £35 to remove it - and since it came "with the house" I believe it must be my landlord who takes the cost on board.
        Is my assumption correct?


        • #5
          Originally posted by adpucci View Post
          I moved into my new home approx 3 weeks ago, and there is a wasps' nest just under the guttering by the bedroom window.
          The council will charge me £35 to remove it - and since it came "with the house" I believe it must be my landlord who takes the cost on board.
          Is my assumption correct?
          Perhaps we need an update from adpucci!!!!

          Looks as if this request for information has been overlooked.

          Was the wasp nest included in or left out of the inventory and condition report at the start of the tenancy? Did both you and the landlord sign the inventory at the start of the tenancy?

          Firstly was the nest active at the time of posting? Wasps will never reuse an old nest but they can indicate that a new nest will be built nearby.

          If an active nest was handed over to the tenant at the start of the tenancy the treatment and eradication of wasps would clearly be landlord's responsibility.
          Vic - wicked landlord
          Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
          Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.


          • #6
            According to my local authority, the advice given to private tenants is that the landlord is responsible for pest control and they encourage tenants to report instances to them, including

            Pharaoh ants (or other tropical ants)
            Pigeons (only if the nest is causing problems with mess, smells, flies or other insects)
            Wasps (only if the nest is causing a problem e.g. blocking an air vent or gas appliance vent)

            They indicate that they will serve a notice about 2 weeks after the first inspection and give the landlord 28 days in which to deal with the problem.

            The LA further advise the tenants that if notice is served on their landlord, asking them to carry out work in your home, they should contact your landlord about:

            - Protecting you, your children or pets from bait that is to be used
            - When and how the work is to be done. Your landlord must give you enough notice of the start date and you should agree the date with the landlord.


            • #7
              Originally posted by adpucci View Post
              I moved into my new home approx 3 weeks ago, and there is a wasps' nest just under the guttering by the bedroom window.
              The council will charge me £35 to remove it - and since it came "with the house" I believe it must be my landlord who takes the cost on board.
              Is my assumption correct?
              1. Agree with Worldlife, the landlord should pay for its removal if you were sure it was there when you moved in. Deduct it from your rent if necessary as you are entitled to do this.
              2. As in the post above rodent infestation resulting from building work at a premises is the landlord's responsibility, plus anything else which might be considered unreasonable as a result of the works (such as any bugs that were not there before!).
              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.


              • #8

                From a slightly different prespective I would suggest that you also take steps to try and identify what the pest is. Sometimes during extensive development work all sorts of pests can get disturbed from within or outside of a property.

                The good news is that the vast majority of UK pests are little more than a nussance and pose more irritation that health risks. In the past 12 months there seems to have been a marked increase int he incidences of some pests and things like carpet beetles seem to be on the increase along with old nasties such as bed bugs.

                There is a good picture archive at:




                I sincerely hope its not bed bugs, we produce a free fact sheet to identify them which you can see at:


                If you have or can take pictures please feel to send it through to me, I might at least be able to identify it for you.




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