13:53 PM, 8th September 2022, About 4 weeks ago 9
Hello All, As a landlord, when a tenant mentioned there were mice/rats I immediately called in someone who knew how to deal with them. This company issued the same advice to the tenant that I had given them regarding keeping the floor swept etc.
After a couple of visits, some sweeping, some emptying of traps, a change to the dustbin lid regime indoors and out, a chat with the neighbours to mirror simple changes and the problem, possibly partly seasonally driven, went away. It cost me about £150 and a few hours. Happy tenant. They stayed another couple of years before job moves took them away.
It wasn’t a question of hands-on-hips stances and blame games. It just got dealt with.
I’m still a landlord (only just and am exiting asap for oft mentioned reasons) but now have grown up offspring in rented accommodation.
A flat in new build block of 6. Very nice.
Snagging issues not dealt with. Ineffectual property management. Absent owners. Problems that are definitely NOT the tenants’ problems and are entirely NHBC or build quality issues. E.g. kitchen floor laid with no expansion strips – bulged, can’t open/close doors.
Multiple emails to get any responses; responses take weeks. Followed by a visit by ‘people’ who know bugger all, tut a lot, say something without saying anything and then go away without anything happening. The arrangements to get any response is frustrating. Responses generally stating that the tenant is not allowed to do anything but then nothing is fixed.
I get the feeling the managing agent is a puppet of the owner, the owner doesn’t want to spend any money and the building was put together with many corners cut. A race to the bottom.
Now RATS. They are rats and have been seen. Big so-and-sos. Eating bedding, cables, using holes in the walls to gain entry. Everything smells of urine and there are droppings everywhere.
The agent (after being repeatedly contacted for help for 2 weeks) simply blamed the tenant for leaving food out and then stated that the tenant is not allowed to do anything and … that they would send someone around but didn’t want to bother the owner about trivial things that are the tenant’s fault. Another 2 weeks pass and then I find out. Hence this post.
More context. The flats are built behind shops on a high street. The shops are varied and have their share of grocery stores and takeaways. The ‘backyards’ of the shops are between the flats and the back of the shop building and this is where the biffa bins are for the shops. When I helped No.2 child and partner move I did note this and know these ‘backyard’ areas are a good place to go ratting if that’s what floats your boat. I kept quiet.
The LA were contacted and some ‘inspector’ did come round and knowledgeably point out that there were rats. Bless the UK school education system. I would categorise the LA’s response as ‘disinterested’.
In the interests of balance, I’m only accusing the agent, builder and owner of poor service, poor quality and incompetence. Given what little I know about the owner’s professional relationship with the agent I would be very tempted to suggest that they aren’t averse to an occasional s21 or two to keep tenants in their place.
What I am not doing is blaming them for the rats.
The incompetence and quality issues started before day 1. None of the unholy trinity are proactive in any way and even less likely to spend any money at all on fixing anything. The owner has never directly communicated and is uncontactable. A completely unacceptable situation.
Someone related to the building contractor visited and agreed that there were rats but also pointed out that there were rats in the building before it was finished but were not obliged to pass that information on to prospective tenants.
So the tenants put a WhatsApp group together and have placed notices around publicly stating ‘RATS’ but are at a loss regarding where to go from there. They have been told by the agent that they are not allowed to carry out any remedial work themselves for any problem. The tenants are concerned that they will be blamed for the rodent damage and have their deposits withheld. Some tenants have small children and are unhappy.
I am incredibly concerned about health issues and fire risks.
I have little to offer other than to record phone calls, keep an accurate record of events with photos and attempt to persuade the LA there is a public health issue.
I also suggested that when they catch rats, they should dump them on the agent’s desk.
What should the tenants do?