Is the Council being reasonable with enforcement notice?Make Text Bigger
I need urgent advice on the following; I have had tenants in the flat below since August 2018 where I have been served the following enforcement letter from an enforcement officer. The tenants have continuously been complaining about things in the flat all of which have been dealt with.
When the property was first rented to the tenants, there were no pests, and it is stated in the tenancy agreement that it is the responsibility of the tenant to eradicate pests after the first month of tenancy.
After the tenants moved in, after the first month, there have been mice where I have had contractors block all holes to the flat and have also had contractors to eradicate mice however, the tenants keep the flat filthy. Surely, they should be responsible for this and bed bugs which have only just come to my notice in the last month or so. Once again, the tenancy agreement states that the tenants are responsible after the first month of the tenancy.
More recently, the Tenants have complained about mould for the first time which, I have arranged to have cleaned, however, it is black mould that I am sure is caused by condensation. I had given the tenant a dehumidifier, a washer dryer and the double-glazed windows have air vents to prevent mould growth.
They have also had a blocked sink which I arranged to have unblocked although, this again has been for the first time and the tenancy agreement says that after the first month of the tenancy it is the responsibility to clear the blocked pipes. As far as I am aware there are no blocked pipes at the moment.
The following clauses are in the tenancy agreement:
The Tenant agrees with the Landlord as follows:
• To be responsible for the eradication of all pests such as rats, mice, cockroaches, bugs, etc after the first periodic month of the initial Tenancy
• To be responsible to clear any blocked drains, pipes, toilets, sinks, wash basins, baths, showers and any other sewage blockages after the first periodic month of the initial tenancy.
The letter below is what I received from the council:
Dear Mr xxxxx,
It has been brought to our attention that there are defects at the above dwelling which could potentially give rise to health and safety hazards including:
1. Domestic Hygiene, Pests and Refuse – bed bugs
2. Personal Hygiene, Sanitation and Drainage – blocked drainage
3. Damp and mould growth
Documents to provide within the next 21 days:
1. A pest control report carried out by a qualified pest controller and if necessary, following up with a recommended treatment programs to eradicate the pest infestation.
2. A plumber’s report to trace and remedy the source of continuous blockages.
3. A detailed damp survey from a contractor who must be a member of the British Chemical Damp Proofing Association or another suitably recognised organization or suitably qualified person.
For enforcement purposes, the hazard Rating System is concerned with those matters which can be considered the responsibility of the owner or landlord.
As the above dwelling is rented and you are the person in control of the premises, you are responsible for managing or arranging its management and maintenance.
Housing Enforcement Officer
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