Vermin infestation in your home can be very upsetting. I sometimes get emails from tenants afflicted with all kinds of infestation:-
- There’s a rat in the house
- There’s a wasps nest in the loft
- There are bed bugs
Who bears the cost of sorting this out?
To a certain extent the answer is ‘it depends’.
If you have just moved in, then it is for your landlord to sort out. And your landlord should bear the cost of any rectification works.
If the infestation occurs after you have been there for a while, then it depends on whose fault it is. For example
- If rats get in because there are holes in the external walls or
- Insects are attracted to damp because of a leak in the pipes
Then, provided the holey walls and leaky pipes were not caused by you, it will in most cases, be down to your landlord to carry out repairs and deal with the infestation.
- If there are flies and maggots because you never clean the property and it is filthy, or
- Rats are attracted because you leave food lying around and do not deal with rubbish properly
Then the infestation will probably have been caused by you. You will be therefore responsible for dealing with it.
What about infestation where no-one is ‘at fault’?
Well, in that case, it will depend on when the infestation occurs.
- If it is there at the time you move in (even if it is not discovered for a while), it will normally be the landlord’s responsibility to sort it out
- However, if it happens after you have been living there for a while, then you will be responsible. After all, it is your property now (until the tenancy ends).