Helpful Tips Property Management

Forum spotlight: Responsibility for dealing with mice

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

Our forum is an easy way for our members to interact with one another, and learn from the experiences of others.

This week, a member had a question about who is responsible for dealing with a suspected mouse problem at the rental property.

The member had never dealt with an issue like this before, and they took to our landlord forum to ask for advice on what she should do.

The situation

The landlord began by saying that one of her tenants had texted her that she had spotted a mouse running into a small cupboard in her sons bedroom.

The tenant said there were also mouse droppings in the house and a small hole that had emerged in the floor.

It is the first time there has been a sighting of a mouse at the property. The landlord had attempted to inspect the property internally to see the issue for herself, but the tenant couldn’t be there and hadn’t given permission otherwise, and so the inspection did not go ahead.

The landlord was unsure whether it was her responsibility to sort the issue out, or whether the responsibility lies with their tenant. They took to our forum to ask for the advice of other landlords.

The solution

There were mixed responses at first on our forum when it comes to who is responsible out of the landlord or the tenant for sorting this issue out.

Our Customer Contact Advisor was able to assist this member with their query. They stated that in this case the landlord should sort out the issue of the mouse.

The landlord could charge the tenant-however doing so relies on the landlord proving 100% that the tenant is responsible for the mouse being in the property in the first place-and that there’s no other way for the mouse to have gotten in.

Because this is difficulkt to prove, and because the landlord has already flagged up that their is a hole in the floor at the property, it is best if they arrange themselves for the issue to be sorted out.

More on rats and mice in rental properties

Rats and mice carry diseases and can inflict a great amount of structural damage. They can cause serious fires by gnawing away the insulation around electrical cables, floods by puncturing pipes and even death by chewing through gas pipes.

The insurance sector has estimated that rodent damage to wiring is responsible for 25% of all electrical fires in buildings. (Andrew can we use this as a pull out quote?)

Property owners have a legal obligation under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 to keep premises rat and mice free, or, if they pose a threat to health or property, to report infestations to the local authority.

Treatment: It is recommended landlords facing this issue contact a professional pest control company, which will have access to a range of professional use rodenticides which are not available to the public.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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