Persistent Mice in Rental Property – HELP!

by Readers Question

11:52 AM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

Persistent Mice in Rental Property – HELP!

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Persistent Mice in Rental Property – HELP!

I own a one floor, one bed flat in a matrix of flats across three large victorian houses. My tenant (who has been living in the flat for 10 years) is experiencing frequent and persistent prescence of mice which, so far, Apest (pest controllers) have been unable to extinguish. I have spent thousands of pounds blocking up all obvious entry points in this flat but still they come. We are surrounded by neighbours on all sides they say they do not have persistent mice. They say they occasionally see a mouse and it doesn’t bother them. Persistent Mice in Rental Property

My tenant understandably is agigated and we are both frustrated. We believe the solution to completely clear the mice would be a coordinated effort amongst the neighbours to work with Apest (I have offered to pay for everyone) taking the poison into their flats at the same time as well as making special efforts with hygeine (no food left out on surfaces, bins up off the ground and so on) but they are unwilling to participate, they geniunely believe there is no problem. I think they belivee we are being squeemish.

Is there ANY TOOL or LAW I could refer to in order to politely encourage or ‘lever’ participats to see that if they do not co-operate with a strategic effort to get rid of the mice in our building it could begin to affect them more radically.

The freeholders of the building are one set of neighbours who do not want to participate and do not believe there is a problem. They suggest we are over reacting.

Any help anyone can offer would be gratefully received.

Thanks

Charlotte Black



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:20 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Charlotte

I can see why you would want to get this problem sorted, good long standing tenants are not easy to find and I, like you, do my utmost to keep good tenants by helping them.

Legally of course it is not your problem though (see >> http://www.property118.com/pest-control-landlords-or-tenants-responsibility/32120/)

I don't know the answer to your other questions though and look forward to learning from comments of other people with more expertise than I have in this area of law.
.

Joe Bloggs

18:01 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

ask council environmental health to attend and serve notice on the offending flat/s under the environmental protection act 1985. it may also be worth using the councils own pest controllers rather than a private company....i know LB Newham provide this service for a small fee so i guess other do.
there is little point trying to mouseproof your flat espec in a victorian conversion, any hole size of a pencil will allow mice to enter.

Mike

18:05 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

Charolett, there is no easy answer to a mice problem, but first make sure your long standing tenants aren't just themselves responsible for the problem by leaving food stuff lying around uncovered, or crumbs all over the place and not hoovering carpets etc regularly, at least once a week.

There are many ways through which mice can get in, through small holes and gaps, climb even vertical walls and get in through open windows, under the doors, under the bath tubs where all plumbing and pipes have tons of room for mice to crawl through, and under the kitchen units and so on, when you said you have tried filling up all holes, think again, there must be many more holes that you may not know exists, hidden and some small gaps that logically you would think a mice cannot crawl out of it, but they do, even a quarter inch gap would be good enough for some young mice.

But there is good news, most commercial mouse traps don't work because mice gets to know them well, some of them are more intelligent than we give credit to them, they avoid poisons, so I over came this problem by making an electronic trap, where I constructed a small plastic box approx 4inch square and about 10 inch in length and it had a photo sensor near its one end about an inch or so from the back box wall, and the front of the box had a door that just hung on a solenoid mechanism, operated by a photo beam, you place a series of small tiny baits outside the trap, encouraging mice to taste the samples outside, the size of rice grain, and then a trial of further food samples laid in the box and a much bigger food sample at the rear wall of the trap, the idea is when mice eats a bit of the sample outside, he or she likes it and picks up courage to delve deeper and deeper into the trap, until she or he cuts across a photo beam, which operates the solenoid latch and the door drops shut, the mice is trapped and is still alive, take it out and leave it in your neighbors garden, please do not kill them as that would be really horrible if you just imagine you may well become as a mice in your next life!

If you are interested I might be able to help you build one, or even sell you one, but right now I am so busy with other chores in life!.

Colin Belton

19:15 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Charlotte, as an agent I've worked with tenants and landlords to remove mice and rats. As in the other advice I've used the council, exterminators and also tried my on DIY methods. All with mixed results. There was no absolutely full proof method. Alberta province in Canada, seem to have some sort of system. I have become philosophical and now just live in harmony with rats, though I detest them. To learn more pop-over to my blog and you read about my experience with rats and mice https://www.rentaljoy.com/blog/2014/11/rats-and-mice-in-your-rental-property-and-how-to-get-rid-of-them/

Mark Alexander

19:36 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Colin Belton" at "03/11/2014 - 19:15":

The best way to get rid of mice is to get a cat.
.

Mike

22:15 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

I agree with Mark, cats are best defence against a mice menace, I actually love keeping cats and not because I have any mice problem, yes in my cellar they burrow in, but doors to cellar keeps them contained, never seen one in the house, cats love going into the cellar, but then you have to trade in cats or mouse or fleas? choice is yours, I prefer cats and a few flea bites now and again, ha ha, fleas are easy to control when you have one or two cats and not easy when I have 10 cats! lol.

Today my tenant came with my electronic mouse trap as it had been in constant use, it must have caught hundreds of mice since its use for nearly 5 years now, it needed some soldering to one of its sockets where the 12v adapter plugs in, otherwise I asked my tenant are you still having mice problem and he said yes we catch at least two or three each week. I asked him what do you do with them after, and he said exactly as what anybody should do, throw them back into your neighbours garden from where they first come into your first floor flat!
I replied well done, don't kill poor things, they have equal right to life as we all have.

I also strongly detest my cats torturing mice, and I have rescued many from their claws and sharp teeth, many have survived but most die the next day through internal injuries. I love all life except I will not feel sorry for a cockroach sadly, it must be trampled the second you spot one or you will be sharing all your accommodation and facilities with them.

AA Properties Wales

22:16 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

Can mice have a regulated tenancy? Don't you think Mike is being cruel against mice for taking photos without their consent? Outrageous I say....

AA Properties Wales

22:17 PM, 3rd November 2014
About 4 years ago

On a serious footing, when I had a mouse problem..I got two cats...the mice ate them..

Michael Barnes

15:19 PM, 4th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mike " at "03/11/2014 - 22:15":

If you just release the mice, then it is probably the same few mice coming back again and again.

My advice is to get a few traditional mouse traps, bait them with raisins, and check and empty them daily.

Round my way this is the time of year that mice come in (out of the cold, looking for somewhere warm for tghe winter). I find that I catch a mouse every 2-3 days for 3-4 weeks and then it is over for the year.

Mouse-fur gloves are warm and soft, if you have enough mice and can find someone to do the biz for you.

Laura Delow

11:30 AM, 5th November 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Charlotte - it´s Laura from sunny Spain. Good to see you´ve signed in to Property 118. Some of the replies had me really chuckling & Tom & Jerry sprang to mind, but on a serious note these mice will continue to be a problem unless every possible crack under every unit is plugged/proofed & you are prepared to take on this issue on behalf of your tenant even though "mice" are not a landlords responsibility. It may be a good idea to see if your local council have pest controllers you can call on the services of to carry out the proofing for a smaller fee than you´ve experienced to date, and see what advice they offer if the other residents won´t entertain the same proofing even at your expense. Lastly, although I do love mice & feel bad killing the little critters (really) when it comes to hygeine I´m afraid I feel putting poison traps down (I´ve used Rentokil in the past) are a necessity. Good luck. Laura x

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