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

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

    I'm due to move into a property that I have rented through an agent on saturday. Last week I was able to gain access to the property to measure up for some of my furniture, whilst in the property I notice that there were a large number of pest control boxes throughout. I have since found out from the agent that there is a mouse problem at the property and that the posion boxes will need to stay visible in the property for the entire year of my tenancy. In addition the pest control company will have to access the property every 6 weeks.
    I just wondered if I had any comeback with the agent at all- considering that when I first viewed the property there were no sign of any bait boxes or traps. I feel a little mislead into a tenancy were I will have to live with Mice ( I have a significant phobia) and interruption to my enjoyment of the property every 6 weeks (not to mention the visible traps). I am also worried about the damage that could occur to my property.
    I appreciate that this is a problem in a lot of flats and that the agent is trying to address the problem. My main query is that this should have been disclosed before I signed the tenancy agreement?
    Thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by Sparky1 View Post
    I'm due to move into a property that I have rented through an agent on saturday. Last week I was able to gain access to the property to measure up for some of my furniture, whilst in the property I notice that there were a large number of pest control boxes throughout. I have since found out from the agent that there is a mouse problem at the property and that the posion boxes will need to stay visible in the property for the entire year of my tenancy. In addition the pest control company will have to access the property every 6 weeks.
    I just wondered if I had any comeback with the agent at all- considering that when I first viewed the property there were no sign of any bait boxes or traps. I feel a little mislead into a tenancy were I will have to live with Mice ( I have a significant phobia) and interruption to my enjoyment of the property every 6 weeks (not to mention the visible traps). I am also worried about the damage that could occur to my property.
    I appreciate that this is a problem in a lot of flats and that the agent is trying to address the problem. My main query is that this should have been disclosed before I signed the tenancy agreement?
    Thanks
    The problem is that you had an opportunity to inspect property before your visit of discovery last week. Caveat emptor ("Let the buyer beware") applies, unless Agent told you anything untrue whether in answer to your questions or unprompted.
    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.
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    Comment


      #3
      Sparky - I find it hard to believe these traps have to remain put for the entire year. I recently had pest control to deal with a mouse issue in one of my properties. They came once a week for 4wks and that was the end of it.

      I have now installed plug-in devices which prevent re-occurence of the problem. Maybe your agent should consider something similar?

      You might be interested in the following thread...

      http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ead.php?t=4870

      Kind Regards

      J

      Comment


        #4
        I have managed to speak to the pest control company- initially they carry out a four week intensive treatment,- this has not worked and there is a more severe problem- hence the visits every six weeks for a year (this is the breeding period for mice). The property has been treated since february- I first looked at the property in March and all evidence of the traps and poison baits had been removed for viewings. Surely this is misleading. My concern is that I am moving in my own property as the flat is let unfurnished- what comeback do I have if my property is nibbled on by mice and damaged! - I appreciate that they are trying to solve a problem, but if I had not visited last week I would have moved into a property to find traps and poison baits. There is a health and safety issue, and also no details given regarding types of poison and if this is child or pet friendly! I find it difficult to believe that this ok not to mentioned prior to moving in.

        Comment


          #5
          Sparky - to the best of my knowledge the poison IS NOT CHILD & PET FRIENDLY! If you have children and/or pets (or children & animals are likely to visit the property) need to inform the Agents and/or pest control staff so that they can look at using a SAFER alternative.

          J

          Comment


            #6
            i agree, they shoulld of mentioned this to you.

            Do you still want the property and its current tenants? If so then maybe ask the agent and/or landlord if a clause can be put into the agreement which states that should any damage be caused to your property by the the mice then the landlord will be liable. Im sure if this is asked then they will don their utmost to ensure the residents are evicted asap!!!

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for all your comments. I'm not sure what to do at the moment. The problem is that I am not sure of my rights to get out of the tenancy and if this is possible. I will also have no where to live and have no time to find anything else. I am finding it very difficult to get any information from the agents (foxtons). The response I get when I ask questions about the types of traps and poison is that this is of no concern to me. I do not have children but it does mean that my close family will not be able to vist me in the property as they do. I have struggled just to get the property cleaned for the start of the tenancy.
              I think I have been very understanding in just wanting to know the full implications and have questions that anyone would want to know before moving in. I appreciate that atleast they are trying to sort the problem but would like to know what to expect when I move in! I guess I'll just have to wait and see!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Sparky1 View Post
                <snip> I have struggled just to get the property cleaned for the start of the tenancy.<snip>
                Quite concerned to read this. Would you tell us more. The property should have been let to you in a clean condition. Did you sign an inventory and condition report at the start of the tenancy?

                Obviously if it was reasonably clean but you wished to add your own sparkle that is a different issue.
                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.

                Comment


                  #9
                  The tenancy actually starts from today. They have arranged for the check in to be at 1 ocock but informed me this morning, (despite the fact I made it clear I could not make a check in during the day today). They say that I can make any amendments if necessary when they send it to me- should be early next week (I hope this is true). The reason I mentioned the clean was when I had access to the property last week it was in a very bad condition. There have been building works and the property was still covered in builders dust and the lovely mice droppings. I contacted the agent to confirm that it would be cleaned- her response was that on her records it had been cleaned so no further clean would take place. I held out on this point and apparently a clean has taken place today- fingers crossed. It just seems to have been a struggle to get any information or even the basic things completed. I still do not know whether to be prepared for 3 mice or 50!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Would it be worth contacting Environmental Health for their opinion?

                    I would not be happy about moving into a property with poison down - it doesn't sound right to me.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Did you take any photographs of the condition as described?

                      Disgusting - there is risk of infection from the urine or faeces of and you need to know that there has been more than a superficial cleaning.

                      Have a look at the samples of inventory and condition reports and check in list on About Inventories

                      If you can get a witness with you and make a detailed inspection today of the property along the lines of the samples (be prepared to be patient and spend some considerable period of time). Make a list at the time of any photographs you take that show problems.

                      Don't sign the landlord's documents unless they reflect spot on your own findings. That way the landlord will not be able to allege in future that you have caused damage to the property and claim against your deposit. Post the key issues from your report here and seek views as to how it should be presented to the landlord. Don't give them your full report as they probably won't endorse or agree it.

                      If you had delayed starting the tenancy for a short while you would have enjoyed the benefit of the tenancy deposit scheme which will come into effect on 6th April.
                      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.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Get some legal advice concerning whether you can end the tenancy due to breach, frustration etc

                        You could try the shelter helpline.

                        Personally, I would not want to move in if I could possibly help it. Yuk.

                        Be assertive. I would possibly say to the agent that it is a breach of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977; a criminal offence. It also interefers with your 'quiet enjoyment'; therefore breaches the tenancy agreement. If they do not refund your deposit and rent you could go for Small Claims. The agent will still try to bully you that you are breaking the agreement and will claim against you. Thats when it helps to get legal advice, because the agents will be trading on your fear of going to court, so they may try to say anything to make you think you are in the wrong.
                        All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                        * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                        You can search the forums here:

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for all your suggestions.
                          I picked the keys up to the property yesterday, I was told that a full professional clean had taken place that day. Unfortunately it was obvious it hadn't- the place is still covered in builders dust and not so much as wipe down of any surfaces. I have contacted the agent again this morning and they are supposed to be contacting the cleaners to see if it had been done- (obviously it hasn't!).There has even been an old grill pan left in the bottom of the kitchen that is filthy (it is no wonder there is a mouse problem!) Also still trying to get hold of the gas safety certificate- which the agent tried to tell me I do not need to see and should take their word that it was completed last August. I will go back to the property today to document everything and take photographs as suggested.
                          I just can't believe that I am being made to feel that I am unreasonable- when you are paying over £1700 a month in rent you atleast expect to move in with it clean!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Don't drop any issues that you have with the property due to lack of co-operation from the agent.

                            At the end of the day, they are paid by the landlord to look after the property and to ensure it is kept to a reasonable standard. They are obviously "attempting" to sort out the infestation (wonder if i'm being too nice with that comment) but overall they have done a rubbish job and also, DEMAND THAT GAS SAFETY as i sure you are aware, it is a criminal offence not to have it done, you have a right to a copy.

                            I would seek legal advice as others have said in their replies.

                            Sam

                            Comment


                              #15
                              you have to receive a copy of the gas safety certificate - on each page it states tenant copy, landlord copy, engineer copy. We always make our tenants sign to say they have received a copy.

                              Comment

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