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My neighbours house-neglect.

(47 Posts)
fishandlilacs Tue 21-Jun-16 20:17:37

My elderly neighbour went into a home about four years ago. Since then the house has been empty.

The neighbours relative keeps Guinea pigs in the garden but only comes once a day usually late at night, last thing to clean and feed. She lives less than 5 mins away.

The garden is totally over run with bind weed and brambles which are coming into our garden. We laid a new patio last year and put in new fence, even replacing fence that wasn't our side because it was in such poor condition.

I did approach the neighbour about making a contribution to the fence but was told she has no money. I carried on because little point in trying to enjoy my new paving area with one side rotten and collapsing.

Now we are getting rats from that side, obviously brought in by the rodent food and overgrown garden. My cat is doing what he can to 'help' but obviously it's not ideal!

I have asked the neighbour when she comes over what she intends to do, have even offered to help clear but nothing ever comes of it.

AnotherTimeMaybe Tue 21-Jun-16 20:22:38

Not an expert but have seen this happen loads. You can't force them do anything unfortunately but you're right to be upset ...

Werksallhourz Tue 21-Jun-16 20:23:19

I would approach your local council. If the state of the property is attracting rats, then Environmental Health may have jurisdiction.

ftw Tue 21-Jun-16 20:24:27

Have you tried the council? If it's bringing rats in, they might help.

JassyRadlett Tue 21-Jun-16 20:27:17

I think there are two steps left open to you:

1. Inform neighbour that as the problem hasn't been dealt with you feel you are left with no choice but to go to environmental health at the council about it, but wanted to talk to them first before you did so in case it could be sorted.

2. Report to the council - they have enforcement powers.

Whistlejackets Tue 21-Jun-16 20:29:31

We have a similar problem. Speak to council pest control, if you can prove that the property is infested with rats then the council will require the owners to take action.

Our council was extremely reluctant to take action though without pretty concrete evidence, so take any photographic evidence you can.

fishandlilacs Tue 21-Jun-16 20:34:59

Trouble is in a country village the rats could be coming from anywhere, however I have seen the buggers coming in from that side.
I also feel for the poor piggies..they must be lonely. I know they are cared for on a very basic level but why have a pet to just leave it alone apart from 5 mins a day?

Gabilan Tue 21-Jun-16 20:37:51

Rat runs, rat holes and droppings are easy to find if you know what you're looking for. Not sure if the council would need more proof though.

Werksallhourz Tue 21-Jun-16 20:38:49

One thing I would advise you to do is contact one of your local councillors and wait for a response before you approach Environmental Health.

Local councillors can be worth their weight in gold for getting your Local Council to actually take action. A good councillor will push your case for you because he/she wants your vote -- and for you to tell your local mates and family members how good they were with your case, which may mean even more potential votes.

Vixster99 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:48:35

if the neighbour is in a care home why hasn't the house been sold to pay the fees?

PrimalLass Tue 21-Jun-16 20:53:00

How on earth have they not been forced to sell it if she is in a home?

QuiteLikely5 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:53:20

Vixster what a ill thought out response!!!!!

There are a number of reasons! Perhaps she has enough cash in the bank to pay herself???

rubybleu22 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:56:57

vixster she may have savings, they would be used first....on the rats, get some bait down fast, leave them for too long, you will be overrun, its not that expensive, contact the council asap, they will official sort it, but they will need evidence, and it all takes time

Shakey15000 Tue 21-Jun-16 20:57:37

Primal/Vixter because she may be funded by the NHS on Continuing Health Care (I think that's the correct phrase from memory of when I cared for my Aunt)

Agree that Council/Environmental Health is the port of call.

PrimalLass Tue 21-Jun-16 21:05:19

what a ill thought out response!!!!!


PrimalLass Tue 21-Jun-16 21:09:12

Thank you Shakey.

Vixster99 Tue 21-Jun-16 21:09:20

the Local Authority has the power to take possession of, or force the sale of, unoccupied properties. They can do this even if the money isn't needed to pay for care.

amarmai Tue 21-Jun-16 21:11:11

HArbouring vermin can lead to disease. THere must be some authority you can report to . MAybe ask the GP?

justwhatineeded Tue 21-Jun-16 21:11:56

are you in a position to be able to do the work yourself or pay to do the work?

Maybe you can suggest that to her if you can. Things like this drag on and it is easier to just sort it yourself rather than go through all the steps to get it properly sorted.

A friends neighbour had Japanese knotweed and he was in a home. Nothing could be done. they went round in circles trying to sort it out.

GigiB Tue 21-Jun-16 21:22:16

If you have rats call the council pest control. (you could also put some poison out, but make sure its safe for you cat and the 'pigs'...

PurpleRainDiamondsandPearls Tue 21-Jun-16 21:22:29

Vixster Utter tosh. A local authority absolutely cannot force a sale, they can only put a legal charge on a properly. I know it's not relevant but I had to challenge that.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 21-Jun-16 21:24:40

There was another thread about an overgrown NDN garden in the last couple of days - the OP on there contacted the council and had some success.

ThreeLeggedCat Tue 21-Jun-16 21:38:40

The council may be able to help re: pest control as the property definitely provides harbourage for rodents and they can take action under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949. Also the private sector housing team may be able to get involved. I'd ring the Council asap.

BoatyMcBoat Tue 21-Jun-16 21:58:36

Council will come and investigate the rats.

At one point, Councils had a person who kept an eye on empty properties and if they fell into disrepair could serve an order on the owner to sort it out. I don't know whether that is still the case now. With the shortage of housing I would imagine that a Council would be very interested in a ling-empty home.

Beyond that, you will have to wait until she has sold the house and someone else comes to live in it.

fishandlilacs Tue 21-Jun-16 22:16:17

Thank you for your responses.
I have no idea why the property hasn't been sold. Not being privy to the families inner finances and all that.

Sadly I couldn't manage to get the work done. I reckon it would cost a few hundred and I am still a bit pissed off we spent an extra £300 on fencing which wasnt our responsibility.

I have sprayed path clear over (way up the other end from the pets) and we did a big cutting back of about 2m square when the fence was down but now it's up we can't get over.

I am so sad for the house, we were very fond of our neighbour. Her house and her garden were her pride and joy. sad

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