Problems with rodent infestation: mouse/mice/rats/etc.

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    #91
    Originally posted by Miss W View Post
    There is a clause in there that may suggest we are responsible for the mildew though...we agree as tenants to: "Keep the property at all times sufficiently well aired and warmed to avoid build up of condensation and prevent mildew growth and to protect it against frost" ....is this unusual in a tenancy agreement?
    That's a standard clause which makes it imperative that tenants keep the property ventilated and heated to prevent condensation and mould and reduce the risk of burst pipes.

    What that clause seeks to do is prevent damage to the property from the tenant's lifestyle - failure to open windows or report broken ventilation fans, keeping the heating switched off, drying damp clothes inside, not putting on the cooker extractor fan or opening a window when boiling food, etc.

    There are numerous threads on here from landlords who have investigated reports of mould, sometimes sending in damp specialists, only to find out that its the tenants behaviour that has caused this.

    Landlords are responsible when this originates through a defect, such as a burst pipe and so forth.

    There's a leaflet on this site that gives much more info on mould.

    Comment


      #92
      The house is very old and should be listed but landlord has kept off the radar in order to keep the running costs down. The properties have been in the families possession since the dooms day book i'm told and they are pretty influential in the area so not many cross them. Least of all i wouldn't have the money to do much right now.

      A surveyor came to the property (looking for our neighbours) shortly after we moved in and whilst we were talking i asked him about the crack and he suggested it is subsidence - showed him the cracks (smaller ones) right round the house too. I've been marking the cracks with a small pencil line and they have been growing.

      LL has affected our "quiet enjoyment" of the property shes been letting herself into the house while i am at work (she lives nearby). I discovered this when i was off sick and she let herself in to use the electric to power a pump to empty out next doors cellar full of water. I started leaving things round the house so i would be able to tell if anyone had been in after that and she carried right on! I am putting up with it until i can save up and move out but unfortunately that will be at least 6 months now.

      Showing too much muscle right now would make the situation very tricky so am treading carefully. This is all very good to know while i am preparing to make a departure - will begin taking photographs, get a letter from the EHO confirming the problem and how it came about. I will also begin composing a letter (have requested verbally so far) to LL requesting that the crack is repaired. Am very nervous!

      Thank you for all this advice i understand that it isn't legally binding but gives me alot more confidence in sorting this so thank you very much indeed.

      Comment


        #93
        Originally posted by Miss W View Post
        The house is very old and should be listed but landlord has kept off the radar in order to keep the running costs down. The properties have been in the families possession since the dooms day book i'm told and they are pretty influential in the area so not many cross them. Least of all i wouldn't have the money to do much right now.

        A surveyor came to the property (looking for our neighbours) shortly after we moved in and whilst we were talking i asked him about the crack and he suggested it is subsidence - showed him the cracks (smaller ones) right round the house too. I've been marking the cracks with a small pencil line and they have been growing.

        LL has affected our "quiet enjoyment" of the property shes been letting herself into the house while i am at work (she lives nearby). I discovered this when i was off sick and she let herself in to use the electric to power a pump to empty out next doors cellar full of water. I started leaving things round the house so i would be able to tell if anyone had been in after that and she carried right on! I am putting up with it until i can save up and move out but unfortunately that will be at least 6 months now.

        Showing too much muscle right now would make the situation very tricky so am treading carefully. This is all very good to know while i am preparing to make a departure - will begin taking photographs, get a letter from the EHO confirming the problem and how it came about. I will also begin composing a letter (have requested verbally so far) to LL requesting that the crack is repaired. Am very nervous!

        Thank you for all this advice i understand that it isn't legally binding but gives me alot more confidence in sorting this so thank you very much indeed.
        Lady of the Manor, eh? I think you deserve a medal for remaining so patient with this woman, who sounds truly loathsome and arrogant.

        What she is doing amounts to breach of contract on her part on several different grounds and you could quite legitimately sue her for a lot of money.

        I wish you all the best for whichever methods you employ to free yourself from her unpleasantness, laziness and duplicity. When you move out, if you want me to write a letter to her telling her a few home truths, just say the word. I can do a good rant when I want to
        '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


          #94
          Originally posted by Miss W View Post
          I've been marking the cracks with a small pencil line and they have been growing.
          So not only do you have a 3" crack but it's getting worse?

          Miss W, are you a troll? If not I don't want to panic you unnecessarily but to be honest, from the information provided so far I really think you should be taking this situation very seriously indeed - have you thought you could literally be living in a death trap? Everything else that's going on could be pretty trivial if the house falls down with you inside it tonight, don't you think? I'm a bit surprised nobody else in this forum has latched on to this.

          If this crack is still widening, then 'repairing' it is likely to require much more than a bit of cement; it's likely to mean tens of thousands of pounds of underpinning work, or even demolition potentially. If the property has been in the family for years then it's unlikely there will be a mortgage on it, which means there will be no specific requirement for the property to be insured, which would explain why your LL is dragging her heels.

          Comment


            #95
            Money is a big problem and underpins any decisions about upping and leaving. My partner would never forgive me if we were to be left in an unstable possition like being between homes or fighting a legal battle with nothing in our pockets.

            I know what you are saying and its infuriating. What would you do yourself? Is there an organisation who could come and investigate? If they were to find the place unfit what would be the possible outcomes?

            Comment


              #96
              Well I would be onto the telephone tomorrow to the local authority and asking them to do a full HHSRS inspection and survey on the place.

              Lets see, there is certainly the physiological issue for the damp and mould growth, then there is protection against infection for Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse and finally there is protection against accidents for the structural collapse and failing elements, if all are active then they will almost certainly be category 1 hazards and the landlord will have to do the work. Of course if the problems are as bad as you describe, they may even prohibit the use of the place.

              With regards to the structural failings, councils do consul with their own structural surveyors and they would produce a report on their own opinions. An HHSRS inspector isn't expected to be a master of all disciplines.

              Comment


                #97
                Originally posted by red40 View Post
                Well I would be onto the telephone tomorrow to the local authority and asking them to do a full HHSRS inspection and survey on the place.

                Lets see, there is certainly the physiological issue for the damp and mould growth, then there is protection against infection for Domestic hygiene, pests and refuse and finally there is protection against accidents for the structural collapse and failing elements, if all are active then they will almost certainly be category 1 hazards and the landlord will have to do the work. Of course if the problems are as bad as you describe, they may even prohibit the use of the place.

                With regards to the structural failings, councils do consul with their own structural surveyors and they would produce a report on their own opinions. An HHSRS inspector isn't expected to be a master of all disciplines.
                Thanks, Red. Useful info. Could you please just clarify:
                1 What exactly does HHSRS stand for? Would it be accessed through the local council's Env Health Dept, or a different one?
                2 How soon can OP expect them to come out to inspect?
                3 Who pays for such an inspection?

                Many thanks in advance

                MTG
                '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


                  #98
                  Try:
                  http://www.communities.gov.uk/housin...housinghealth/
                  A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                  W.Churchill

                  Comment


                    #99
                    Thanks for the link. I have trawled through it, but cannot find the answers to my questions 2 and 3above. Also, the guidance in the related links seems to be aimed at councils rather than tenants.

                    This page from the Shelter website is probably more use to OP:

                    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...fit_to_live_in

                    although again, it doesn't make timescales very clear.

                    Does anyone have direct experience of dealing with the council over this kind of issue?
                    '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


                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      Thanks, Red. Useful info. Could you please just clarify:
                      1 What exactly does HHSRS stand for? Would it be accessed through the local council's Env Health Dept, or a different one?
                      2 How soon can OP expect them to come out to inspect?
                      3 Who pays for such an inspection?

                      Many thanks in advance

                      MTG
                      Certainly MTG

                      1. Housing Health and Safety Rating System, it should either be Environmental Health or Private Sector Housing

                      2. I suppose it depends on workloads, they can come out pretty much straightaway to look at the problems. If the are going to do a HHSRS inspection they should, technically speaking, give the landlord at least 24 hours notice, this is only relevant if enforcement action is to be taken.

                      3. Costs the tenant nothing, apart from their time. The inspection is free. If enforcement action is taken it costs the landlord money. I have seen costs councils charge ranging from a few hundred pound to over a grand, just in notice fees. That is before any work has started.

                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      Does anyone have direct experience of dealing with the council over this kind of issue?
                      With enforcement action, yes I do!

                      Comment


                        Mouse/Rat Problem

                        Hi,
                        i wonder if sombody can advice me, i am renting a flat and there seems to b mouse in it. I have put some mouse/rat poison but they are still in my place. I told the agency regarding the problem and they havent done anything yet, any advice how to tackle that problem please??

                        Thanks a lot in advance

                        Comment


                          3 options

                          Use traps. Then they do not die and rot in inaccessable places.

                          Get back to the agency as it is a health matter.

                          Inform the council.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by dtz View Post
                            Hi,
                            i wonder if sombody can advice me, i am renting a flat and there seems to b mouse in it. I have put some mouse/rat poison but they are still in my place. I told the agency regarding the problem and they havent done anything yet, any advice how to tackle that problem please??

                            Thanks a lot in advance
                            1. Borrow a cat, if you don't have one of your own.
                            2. In my experience, conventional mouse traps (the de-capitating sort) do not work - mice have evolved to extract the chocolate or whatever, and leave the trap unsprung
                            3. If you think you only have a few mice, get a humane mousetrap which looks like a piece of drainpipe on a see-saw fulcrum thing. You put food in, leave open, mouse runs it, tips tube up, door shuts but mouse ids not harmed. Release it into a neighbour's garden.
                            4. Block up the hole where they got into the property, if possible.
                            5. If you think there are lots, get the council in immediately. They breed like mad.
                            '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


                              Buy a bread bin

                              Mouse and Rat probs tend to be because they have access to food.
                              Ask the tenant to be scrupulously clean re crumbs etc. Keep all food in containers and above all buy a bread bin. The mice will have no food and go elsewhere. Has worked for me several times. I tend to buy the breadbin for the tenant.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by geester View Post
                                Mouse and Rat probs tend to be because they have access to food.
                                Ask the tenant to be scrupulously clean re crumbs etc. Keep all food in containers and above all buy a bread bin. The mice will have no food and go elsewhere. Has worked for me several times. I tend to buy the breadbin for the tenant.
                                Er..I think OP is the tenant.
                                '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

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