Pest Control – rent rebate/taking this further | The Tenants' Voice
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Pest Control - rent rebate/taking this further

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514 views 1 replies latest reply: 04 May 2016

Dear All 

I hope you can help. In early March the house I live in had a rat that died in the ceiling cavity which produced a smell and then what I think is an infestation of flies which I think made the house uninhabitable. We averaged around 5 flies in the kitchen and 5 in the bathroom on a daily basis which is unhygenic and causing anxieties with my child who is going through adolescence. 

I pointed out scratching in the ceiling in November but the landlord didn’t do anything as she stated the email at the time seem to read for her info and I didn’t request a distinct action. When the flies and smell came in March she came the next day. She rang the council and pest control and stated that they don’t remove dead bodies (she stated there was no easy access unless she removed the ceiling). She said the council pest contol told her that I was just to spray fly spray and air the kitchen and bathroom.

I wasn’t happy with this advice and moved out to my parents. For the first 10 days in March there was a problem and though it looked like it was sorted flies (at the same rate) and a new smell continued in the house till now. Due to my child’s increasing phobia we have stayed out of the house till now. 

Since then my landlord has removed part of the ceiling where she stated no dead animal was found and she states the council don’t provide a service to state if a place is uninhabitable. Right from the beginnning my landlord has disagreed that the house has been uninhabitable and stated the rate of flies in her opinion isn’t an infestation she states she is following council advice and states she can’t detect a smell. She has supplied me with some sprays and traps but quite frankly this isn’t enough.

She isn’t living here and its unbearable. At the beginning I have demanded half the rent back for the 10 days in March which she has yet to agree to but I may ask for more as I can’t live there. Surely even if she can’t find a solution that’s not my problem if the problem is still there? Can I demand a set rental rebate? If she refuses can I take it further? I have a child that is being tramautised by this, we are finding this extremely distressing.


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Hi Lucy,

Whilst, no doubt, very unpleasant based on your description I would not consider ther property uninhabitable or infested based on your description. It sounds like this is a tricky issue and it does sound like the Landlady is trying to find a solution.

I would work with her to try and get the issue resolved as quickly as possible (she does need to ensure any dead vermin are removed and any applicable area treated or replaced) and then discuss possible compensation for the incovneinec and unusuable areas. However, the Landlady should look to address this as soon as she can.

If an agreement cannot be reached or the issue cannot be solved then you need to discuss the possibility of surrendering your tenancy early. Of course you can also report the matter to your Local Environmental Health and have them investigate the issue- if substantiated, they will set out what action the Landlord must take to resolve the issue.

Hope that helps

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