A landlord posted in our Forum recently a question relating to wasps nests. They were having trouble with wasps. The tenant moved in to the property in December, and the landlord recently found the wasps nest at the bottom of the garden.
They posted in our Forum because they wanted to know who is responsible for clearing up the wasps nest, he as the landlord or the tenant.
What our Forum users said
One user on the Forum suggested that it would be best for this landlord to sort out the issue themselves, and then perhaps split the cost of clearing up the nest with the tenant.
Another landlord began by pointing out to this member that wasps in properties can affect brickwork, and can also pose a threat if they are near to an open window, so for health and safety reasons it is the landlord’s responsibility to get rid of the wasps nest as soon as possible. She also suggested using a trained professional to remove the wasps nest.
Another poster in the Forum disagreed with this, and argued that actually the tenants are responsible for removing the wasps nest, not the landlord. However, they did suggest that in order to make sure the problem is sorted out quickly, in this case the landlord should perhaps sort it out themselves.
Another landlord suggested that at the start of the next tenancy, it is advisable for this landlord to first inspect the garden and house for wasps nests, to make sure there are none there prior to the tenants moving in.
Response from our Landlord Advice Team
A landlord from our advice team then joined the conversation, and gave some legal insight into this matter.
The advisor shared that in this case the wasps are present in the property due to a fault in the fabric of the building, therefore it is the landlord’s responsibility to arrange for the wasps nest to be cleared up. However, if there is no fault in the fabric of the building, then it is the tenants’ responsibility to arrange clear up of the wasps nest.
For landlord who are unsure, they should ask pest control to attend the property and take a look at the wasps nest. Pest control will make a report of their findings, and this report will state liability.
Our advisor also explained to this member that wasps are known for carrying disease picked up during their visits to dustbins, bottle banks and carcasses, and if wasps settle on food they can contaminate it. They also suggested that the best way for this member to safeguard their interests, and to prevent a potential claim from the tenant (even if malicious) would be for the landlord to deal with this issue, and forward the cost on to the tenant if needs be. If they do not pay, then the cost of this can be deducted from the deposit.