50 odd pigeons in loft - can anyone force landlord to clear them speedily

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    50 odd pigeons in loft - can anyone force landlord to clear them speedily

    We are renting privately but through an agent who only rents to council tenants on benefits usually. We went bankrupt two years ago and so were unable to rent through private agencies due to credit checks so council helped us and we rent through their agent. Not sure if this is a housing association rent? We have always had problems getting repairs done. The agency leave us to deal with Landlord. He always takes a long time to do anything if he does it at all. We have an outside room off the garage with a shower and toilet. The toilet has been broken since last July and the Landlord says he cannot afford to fix it. The agency said there was nothing we could do except move out (we can't rent without credit check) or pay for it ourselves, which we couldn't afford. When we moved in we signed an agreement for whole of property but when we picked up the keys, the agent told me the owner would be keeping the garage and loft for his own use. We had to get out our previous property so had to just accept the fact and move in here, with less storage. Thus a lot of our items had to be left in the rain and got ruined. I did want to try and get a reduction in rent but gave up. Life was stressful enough at that point. Around this time last year I told the agency we had 'something in the loft'. By September I had told both agency and owner (who said agency hadn't told him) that it was definitely pigeons. Over the months we have had owner promising to come and look several times. Agency doesn't do anything. I complained in February and new agency manager came in March and declared he couldn't live like this, how could we? We said we have no option. He said that last manager should have done more and he would do so. Since then we are still waiting. In that time we have had two pest control companies in. One who said it would be expensive as it isn't a job he really wants and one who said he simply wont do the job. Neither have seen anything like it. There are at least fifty birds up there, guana over whole loft. It also showed us we have holes in roof tiles. So that needs repair - the agency told me they are sorting repairs but that was the first of May and we have had one roofer in since then on the 10th and heard nothing from agency since. The owner has now said the agency told him they will not sort roof repairs, he has to. The owner is relying on insurance to fix the roof but the roofer who came to quote today said it is wear and tear and poor maintenance that has resulted in holes so is not covered by insurance. My son's bed is under one of the holes and there is water staining on the ceiling so I am worried it will collapse at some point, there is a large nesting area there too. We have already had a ceiling panel (repaired previously probably after a foot put through it) come down complete with insulation and pigeon guana.

    I am at my wits end. Between the agent and owner blaming each other we have just got more and more delay.The new agency manager also said owner is responsible for toilet repair and they need to get that done, but they haven't yet (that was a month ago). It has been over a year since I originally told them about birds. It has been two and a half months since they started supposedly actively getting quotes and 'getting it done'. We have guana coming down through loft hatch edges constantly and through ceiling panel which we tried to patch but needs proper fixing. We have fleas and flies everywhere costing me in sprays.

    Who can I complain to that might actually get things done. I have been more than patient. I shouldn't have to deal with owner directly (what does he pay the agent for) - it makes me uncomfortable and I feel guilty pushing when he bleats he cannot afford it, having been there myself. I am extremely concerned about health risks for my children. And it is just plain unpleasant living with flies and fleas.

    We live in Bournemouth, anyone know who to contact?

    #2
    You can contact the Environmental Health Officer at the local council. The council has the power to force a landlord to comply with his statutory repairing obligations (which include repairing the holes in the roof, and the broken toilet - the LL may also be liable in respect of the pigeon infestation if it is caused by the roof disrepair, and it sounds likely it is).

    Be aware, however, that calling in the EHO may result in the LL deciding to evict you.

    See this link for further info.

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      #3
      Perhaps making LL/LA aware of intention to call EHO if a resolution is not found.

      No LL wants EHO calling at the property and coming up with a list of problems included on a enforcement notice. In addition may help be on better standing with landlord as above post says.

      --

      By the way, you went bankrupt "two years ago", presumably you have been discharged (usually within first year! these days) and are aware your credit file should not contain any negative marks SINCE your bankruptcy from old debtors?
      I'd get your credit file and clean it up as much as you can, perhaps responsibly start building your credit and you may have more freedom in choice of residence in the future.
      Not that PRS landlords wont be as "bad" of course.

      I had a family member in similar situation, time has past you should be able to slowly move on. Other forums may be able to help with your rights post bankruptcy and how to build credit.

      Comment


        #4
        Pigeon Fouling and Disease

        Hi

        Having been in pest control for many years and dealing with pigeons weekly this worries me. If there indeed that many pigeons in the loft, they will be nesting. The weight of their fouling will increase weekly added to that the rain water that will also be coming into the loft and even more so increasing the strain on the ceiling and turning the fouling to sludge.

        Fouling is extremely dangerous and if it were to collapse the ceiling not only would the risk of being crushed be there but being covered in the pigeon fouling would be really really bad. Some of the diseases you can catch from pigeons are - cryptococcosis, Salmonella and Listeria, E. Coli.

        Your landlord needs to address this situation and fast.

        Comment

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