Rat Infestation – Tough?

by Readers Question

15:39 PM, 1st October 2019
About A year ago

Rat Infestation – Tough?

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Rat Infestation – Tough?

I was wondering if anyone could give an opinion please: We own 3 apartments in a block. There is a commercial unit plus our 3 flats only.

We are besieged with rats throughout the building, mainly in my 3 units.

The Freeholder says its not his responsibility as nowhere in the lease does it state he is responsible for this type of problem, and I should get a company in to deal with the problem, again

The first time it happened he got people in and paid. now he is refusing, saying tough, my problem, not his

Any thoughts?

Paul


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Comments

Neil Patterson

15:42 PM, 1st October 2019
About A year ago

Hi Paul,

The key question here is what is attracting the rats? Who is responsible eg not dealing with waste correctly.
What is the commercial premises in your block? It's not food related by any chance?

Paul McCarthy

16:01 PM, 1st October 2019
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 01/10/2019 - 15:42
Thx Neil for your reply

The commercial is an estate agent and he owns the freehold!

Ian Johnson

4:38 AM, 2nd October 2019
About A year ago

How are the rats getting into the building? Maintaining the building such as holes in the building walls is the Freeholders responsibility. If the rats have a rat run through roof spaces, the insulation is likely contaminated with rat urine and will have to be replaced by a licenced company as its deemed hazardous waste. Suggest you contact the local environmental health officer for assistance.

Kate Mellor

9:19 AM, 2nd October 2019
About A year ago

Totally agree with Ian & Neil! The crux of the responsibility depends on the cause of the infestation. The landlord is responsible where the infestation was either pre-existing OR is caused by a failure of the building (such as gaps giving access). This MUST be addressed if you wish to prevent a recurrence of the problem. Are there food businesses in the row? Are their drains covered? Are they chocked up with food grease etc. How are they disposing of food waste? Assuming of course there are food businesses close by, if there are, report the issue to environmental health & tell them you want them to identify where the problem is coming from & ensure these businesses are acting correctly.
Take note of the bin/rubbish situation in the area, check one of your tenants isn’t “feeding the pigeons” 🙄
Get the flats inspected by an experienced pest controller to identify areas that are allowing rats to gain access. These MUST be blocked up and the existing infestation treated.
As regards payment, as a long leaseholder wouldn’t any cost of works have to be recharged by the freeholder to the leaseholders as part of their annual service charges in any case though, or am I wrong?

Kim Karpeta

9:35 AM, 2nd October 2019
About A year ago

I agree with all the comments above but in my experience and we have had several incidents. Is to get a good pest control company to advise and begin to deal with them. There are several thing that will most likely need to be done and it will take some time to get the infestation under control

Julia Kulinski

16:42 PM, 3rd October 2019
About A year ago

Hi, I don't know where you are but please get a pest control company in to carry out a survey. It is normally free and you can choose a reputable one by using the British Pest Control Association website https://bpca.org.uk/find .
It is likely to be a drain problem. The quicker the source is identified the quicker it can be resolved. You then have a report which you can discuss with the freeholder. If it is a drain problem it will not go away, it will only get worse. I see buildings like this all the time and it can get extremely expensive if left for a long time. ( not to mention the potential health problems). Good luck !


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