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to think that the landlord should take responsibility for mice?

(53 Posts)
lill72 Thu 20-Nov-14 12:47:07

Eek we have a mice problem. We are unsure how they are getting in, but they are gnawing through closed packets of pasta etc on top shelves of closed pantrys. No evidence in bins etc.

The estate agents have told us it is our problem. But if they are getting through a hole in the house, surely it is the landlord who is repsonsible.I dont want to have to pay for the council to come look (£136) but this will be the only way to establish the source of the problem and how bad it is. We are currently laying traps and the estate agent told us to put wire worrl in holes. We cant see any holes, but I dont think this is our responsibility.

I have written t the agents and told them they landlord should pay for the council to have a look.

anyone clear on the law?

TheChandler Thu 20-Nov-14 12:51:00

Debatable, but I used to work in residential rentals and I saw too many properties where the tenants left uneaten food out, didn't clean the kitchen very well, etc and created a mouse problem in properties that didn't have one to start with to be entirely sympathetic. Most leases and the Repairing Standard require properties to be wind and watertight and thereafter its for the contract between the parties. This is what you have an inventory for, to note damage on before you move in.

Many landlords, as a token of goodwill and concern their property is being damaged might send round someone to deal with it, but its a bit like gardens - if it isn't specified in the lease, its the tenant's responsibility as its their home.

Surely the mouse traps will solve the problem?

peachgirl Thu 20-Nov-14 12:52:57

I can't help you out in 100% certainty, but I agree with your instinct, surely the LL is responsible for this. A quick Google shows that Shelter recommends reporting it to your local council, and this blog provides and excellent entry on landlord responsibility re:vermin.

lill72 Thu 20-Nov-14 12:58:50

The thing is - the estate agent is saying it is our problem. But as it is unclear how the problem started, it is unclear who is responsible. Neither party will know without getting the council to look/

The- yes we have caught a few - but from reading the problem can go on as they have families. I have a 3 week old baby and just want the problem eradicated so I dont have to worry about disease etc. It is freaking me out - i cannot leave an unopened packet of pasta in my cupboard!!

Thanks peachgirl - will have a look.

Ahhhh - why does this happen just after a baby!!

MrsQueen Thu 20-Nov-14 13:03:45

Hi, we own rental properties and I'm sorry, but mice are simply not the landlords problem. It's a tenant issue to deal with.

We had one tenant try to complain about mice to the council, and even the councils housing office agreed that it wasn't a landlord problem.

Nicknacky Thu 20-Nov-14 13:05:00

If you have a baby then to be honest, I would pay the money to find the source of the problem then take it from there. It has to be sorted one way or another and you can't risk any kind of infection.

ReallyTired Thu 20-Nov-14 13:07:19

Private pest control may well be cheaper than the council. I had a private pest control company remove squirrels from a loft for £125. I think that the law is a unclear. A decent landlord would pay for pest control as a gesture of goodwill.

Corabell Thu 20-Nov-14 13:07:25

Mice can squeeze through a hole which is the size of a 5 pence piece. I sympathise, it is awful and upsetting. I would recommend storing dried foods in plastic or glad containers, using traps/ poison and a sonic device.

MrsQueen Thu 20-Nov-14 13:13:17

reallytired there's no need to be rude! We are decent landlords - fair to our tenants, maintain the properties well, and we've been very flexible on rent being late when good tenants have temporary problems.

The reality is though, as a tenant you are paying for use of a house with certain facilities. Some things are included in rent, others are not. If we voluntarily paid for everything our tenants might like we'd end up bankrupt.

HighwayDragon Thu 20-Nov-14 13:15:13

Mice are your issue unless you can prove there was an infestation before you moved in

Jackiebrambles Thu 20-Nov-14 13:16:56

I'm a landlord too and I think its the tenants responsibility.

BUT I don't think you need to shell out for pest control.

In older places mice at this time of year are SO common. They can squeeze through the smallest hole you wouldn't believe. I've lived in at least 2 places that got them.

I'm afraid you need to invest in tupperware and keep everything, and I mean everything, in plastic containers. They will eat cardboard, dried pasta, cereal - basically ANYTHING. Cut off the food supply and they will go.

We also got poison and basic wooden traps laced with peanut butter (sorry, not humane) which really did the trick plus cutting off the food supply.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

SparkyLark Thu 20-Nov-14 13:18:06

Hello OP.

Ring Environmental Health

They know the law and they will help clarify the issue for you.

Sorry, but IME, statistically speaking I think you are more likely to meet Marilyn Monroe in Tescos tomorrow, than a decent landlord.

sparechange Thu 20-Nov-14 13:18:51

Check your contract, but every private rental I've had has clearly said pest control is the tenants issue...

Jackiebrambles Thu 20-Nov-14 13:19:04

Agree re private pest control too, its not as much as you would think, we had squirrels in our roof and called out pest control and it was around £200.

With mice though, it is SO hard to eradicate their point of entry because they can get in easily through a teeny hole.

thecatneuterer Thu 20-Nov-14 13:20:26

I agree entirely with Jackiebrambles (except that I would recommend humane traps rather than the cruel sort). But it's cutting off the food supply that will really do the trick.

sparechange Thu 20-Nov-14 13:20:26

If you google 'template assured shorthold tenancy agreement', they contain the following:
53. INFESTATIONS
During the tenancy you must take reasonable measures to keep the premises free of vermin (for example, mice),
fleas or parasites. If the premises become infested because of something you have or have not done, you will
have to pay the appropriate costs of putting this right and cleaning any parts of the premises which are affected.

So if that is in your contract, it is your responsibility.

WD41 Thu 20-Nov-14 13:21:10

I think they should take a certain responsibility yes.

We live in an upstairs flat, haven't seen evidence of mice but the downstairs tenants reported a problem so the LL came out to investigate. They've given us 2 sonic devices to plug in as a precaution.

May not be the law but the decent thing to do IMO.

itsaknockout Thu 20-Nov-14 13:22:49

I am a landlord and we have paid for mice problems in the past.i won't now

BrokenButNotFinished Thu 20-Nov-14 13:26:38

We've just (hopefully) sorted out a minor mouse problem. We live in an area surrounded by lots of rambling green space and I've seen mice running down the street many times - often pursued by one of the many cats living around here.

The council would have dealt with it for free, but in any case I felt that it was our responsibility to sort out. However, had we got in an external pest controller, I would have felt obliged to notify the landlord through the agent. And if it had happened that we had dead mice (or baby mice) in a nest which was starting to smell, I feel that we would have to refer that back to the landlord because it could potentially have involved work to the fabric of the property. It's an old house, with many frankly bizarre modifications, so lots of crevices for mice to crawl away and die in.

StillSquirrelling Thu 20-Nov-14 13:26:49

Mice can get through holes that you wouldn't believe - even smaller than a 5p piece (as someone else mentioned). We live in the country and have mice (and rats/voles/weasels/shrews) galore. They don't bother me much unless I find poo, in which case I will go on a mouse hunt and either trap it with a spring trap or catch it if it's accessible and release it into the woods across our fields.

We don't leave food lying around and all stuff in cupboards that is usually in gnaw-able packages is transferred into tupperware. Having said that, mice can apparently live on just 1g of food a day - which is barely anything - I expect my kids leave more than that on the floor after a single meal!

Last month I finally caught a mouse that had been living in our utility room. It had made great inroads into the packet of dishwasher salt that was in the utility cupboards! Yummy grin

StillSquirrelling Thu 20-Nov-14 13:26:50

Mice can get through holes that you wouldn't believe - even smaller than a 5p piece (as someone else mentioned). We live in the country and have mice (and rats/voles/weasels/shrews) galore. They don't bother me much unless I find poo, in which case I will go on a mouse hunt and either trap it with a spring trap or catch it if it's accessible and release it into the woods across our fields.

We don't leave food lying around and all stuff in cupboards that is usually in gnaw-able packages is transferred into tupperware. Having said that, mice can apparently live on just 1g of food a day - which is barely anything - I expect my kids leave more than that on the floor after a single meal!

Last month I finally caught a mouse that had been living in our utility room. It had made great inroads into the packet of dishwasher salt that was in the utility cupboards! Yummy grin

StillSquirrelling Thu 20-Nov-14 13:26:51

Mice can get through holes that you wouldn't believe - even smaller than a 5p piece (as someone else mentioned). We live in the country and have mice (and rats/voles/weasels/shrews) galore. They don't bother me much unless I find poo, in which case I will go on a mouse hunt and either trap it with a spring trap or catch it if it's accessible and release it into the woods across our fields.

We don't leave food lying around and all stuff in cupboards that is usually in gnaw-able packages is transferred into tupperware. Having said that, mice can apparently live on just 1g of food a day - which is barely anything - I expect my kids leave more than that on the floor after a single meal!

Last month I finally caught a mouse that had been living in our utility room. It had made great inroads into the packet of dishwasher salt that was in the utility cupboards! Yummy grin

TheChandler Thu 20-Nov-14 13:27:29

Ring Environmental Health. They know the law and they will help clarify the issue for you. Sorry, but IME, statistically speaking I think you are more likely to meet Marilyn Monroe in Tescos tomorrow, than a decent landlord.

I think the likelihood of an Environmental Health Dept at your local council giving you excellent free legal advice on a tenancy agreement they have never seen is far less likely than a Marily Monroe resurrection.

If the mice infestation wasn't there before you moved in, then you need to take responsibility for your own home. Phoning Env Health could be useful, because they will give you good general advice, some of which has been listed above by Jackiebrambles re removing all possible food sources for them. Traps should be sufficient if allied to that. If the council comes out and does its job, the mice are just going to come back if they have a food source so the problem won't be solved at all.

The exception is if your contract contains a clause making the landlord responsible. I think that very unlikely.

Do you live in a block of flats/shared building? It could be that another householder in it is ahem rather dirty of habit which is causing problems for the whole block.

museumum Thu 20-Nov-14 13:32:23

Rather than arguing about who is responsible how about concentrating on how best to get rid of them.

The best way to get rid of them is to starve them out. All cereals, bread pasta etc into Tupperware. All crumbs etc hoovered up instantly.

The LL can't possibly do this and this is the bit that makes the biggest difference.

NotYouNaanBread Thu 20-Nov-14 13:37:05

It's your problem, not the landlord's. You're leaving something out that the mice are getting at. Keep the kitchen spotless and get traps/poison/borrow a cat.

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