New tenants have called in pest control

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    New tenants have called in pest control

    Hello everyone

    I received an email from my new tenants this morning saying that they have an issue with a spender infestation in one room and the garage. They have not given me any notice but have arrange pest control at a cost of £169+VAT which they plan to bill me for.

    At the moment I am out of the country so there is no way I can deal with the situation but in the 10 years that lived there we didn't have any problem with spiders, other than the odd cobweb. The garage is different though as it's on the side of the house and as it's not habitable there are far more creepy crawlies about.

    My feeling is the tenants have an insect phobia as they have commented quite a few times on how I dealt with the bugs. Is it my responsibility to pay for this as I have a feeling this will be the beginning of ongoing requests? More to the point shouldn't they have to give me at least some notice in case I want to arrange for myself.

    Thanks

    Dave

    #2
    They should have notified you in advance of any problem for you to consider.
    My attitude is if T engages contractor without my consent, then T pays and I will re-imburse if LL responsibility.
    Some spiders are to be expected in property and may be indicative of poor cleaning regime.
    Legally, LL has no reps for any contractor not engaged by LL or with LL permission.
    I would not regard a few spiders or cobwebs as an 'infestation. requiring services of a pest contoller.

    Comment


      #3
      I would tell them that the process is that they raise the problem with you and (if it is your responsibility) you will pay for the work to be done by a contractor of your choice.
      There are no exceptions (other than a desperate emergency), which this isn't.

      That's not a weird arrangement, all tenants know that's how it works.

      You get someone to go and have a look at the "infestation" first - won't the council do that?
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        mariner,

        Thanks for the quick reply. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Estate Agent as I have checked my t&c's and cannot see spiders being a pest issue. I've also called the council pest control department who also said they do not even deal with spiders as they are not regarded to be a pest.

        In view of the situation I'm going to write to them saying that notification has to be given and that I will pay half the costs that relate to the house but not the garage. I think that's more than fair?

        The irony is that I'm in France at the moment in an old house and as I type I can hear mice/rats scratching in the walls!! My tenant would want to bulldoze the house but I accept it as the house is old- with cobwebs, ants, wasps etc but if it becomes an issue I will contact the owners first. The ants got vacuumed up though!

        Comment


          #5
          A slippery slope if they are allowed to get away with calling whomever they like for whatever they like in and expect you to pick up the tab.

          It's going to be an expensive lesson for one of you. As a LL I'd make sure it wasn't me.
          "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

          What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

          Comment


            #6
            jpkeates,

            Agreed. They are from the States and I do not think have got an idea how things work. In the first week they asked me to get rid of my couch as it was old and not comfortable for them!

            The council do not regard spiders to be a pest issue which says something about the 'infestation'.

            It's going to be a looooong year I think.

            Comment


              #7
              spiders are not a pest, they are just creepy. spiders do not carry infections nor do they contaminate food. spiders only eat live prey, living on things you dont want around anyway.

              right now, it's spider timer of year. im seeing a lot around. This is not really an infestation. it's not really the LL responsibility, despite the fact that most people dont want them in their house.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Davecon1 View Post

                It's going to be a looooong year I think.
                12 month agreement?

                If they persist, just keep refusing all their requests, stay within legislation, they'll soon get fed up and want to leave and think you're generous offering to end the contract early.
                "I'm afraid I didn't do enough background checks apart from checking her identity on Facebook" - ANON

                What I say is based on my own experience and research - Please don't take as gospel without first checking the gospel yourself.

                Comment


                  #9
                  When there are a few too many spiders in a corner I just hoover them along with the nets... Clean, fast, easy.

                  Originally posted by Davecon1 View Post
                  Agreed. They are from the States and I do not think have got an idea how things work.
                  Tell them that British spiders are well-behaved compared to Yankee ones... There're no Black widows here, no need to call in the 'exterminators'.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by hugh2010 View Post
                    spiders are not a pest, they are just creepy. spiders do not carry infections nor do they contaminate food. spiders only eat live prey, living on things you dont want around anyway.
                    This. Spiders are not pests, they are beneficial. They catch other things we like even less. Spiders are nowhere near as annoying as flies. Spiders are like worms - they do good things.

                    My AST has a term like this in "Not to engage any contractor, or otherwise incur expenditure, on behalf of the Landlord (except in case of emergency) without prior written agreement from the Landlord." and I don't think any aspect of pest control is able to be classed as an emergency... emergencies (in my own head) usually relate to water, fire, being trapped etc.. I'd think this kind of term would be pretty standard.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Davecon1 View Post

                      In view of the situation I'm going to write to them saying that notification has to be given and that I will pay half the costs that relate to the house but not the garage. I think that's more than fair?
                      I think that is a very risky move as it sets an early precedent. In your shoes I would try to be firm and stick to the principle that they report to you first and let you decide how to deal, if needed.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        To be fair, if they're not from the UK,
                        they might not know that we don't have any seriously bad spiders in the UK.

                        I've just checked and my council don't quote for a spider infestation.
                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for everyone's replies and advice.

                          I spoke to the agents and dealing with spiders is not a landlord issue and as everyone pointed out they should have contacted me prior to arranging any contractor. I've no idea why they didn't mention it until it was to late but as I mentioned I suspect they do not know their contract very well.

                          I've taken the decision to pay half the bill as I do not want to fall out with the tenants 2 weeks into a year long tenancy. At the time time I have pointed out that should any other 'issues' arise they will need to contact me and will need written agreement before any contractor can be brought in (thanks for that advice hippo). Whilst it is possible this might set a precedent the reason why I ordered to pay is because they were not happy with the house clean prior to moving it and, on reflection I agreed and offered to have it cleaned again, but they said it was not necessary.

                          The estate agents have emailed them to let them know what is considered LL vs T responsibility so hopefully there will be no confusion in the future. I should point out that the tenants have paid 6 months advance rent so as it stands I shouldn't have to worry about them not paying the rent but will have to deal with their high expectation levels!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I received an email from my new tenants this morning saying that they have an issue with a spender infestation in one room and the garage.
                            Take away the spender's debit card.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I would refer them to Shelter, the housing charity, and experts in all things housing....
                              http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...sts_and_vermin
                              Insects and other small beasts

                              Most insects are harmless and many are beneficial. Leave them alone, or simply remove them from your home if they are unwelcome.
                              Landlords who expect tenants to always be rational & reasonable are liable to be disappointed...

                              Come to think of it, Tenants who expect landlords to always be rational & reasonable are liable to be disappointed...

                              Cheers!
                              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...

                              Comment

                              Latest Activity

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X