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Renters almost twice as likely to experience a pest problem in their home

Three fifths of Brits have experienced a pest problem within their home, with 64% of those who have had an infestation living in rented accommodation at the time, while 36% were in a property they owned, new research shows.

A new study has found that 57% of British adults have experienced a pest problem within their home, with 6% of respondents polled admitting they had previously changed their address due to an infestation of unwanted animals, insects or other critters.

Those living in London, the South East and Scotland the most likely to have experienced an issue with uninvited house guests, according to the study of over 2,000 British homeowners carried out by Hillarys.


All respondents were initially asked if they had ever lived in a property where a pest infestation had been uncovered, with 57% admitting they had.

Researchers broke down the answers and found the following regions were most likely to have a pest infestation:

London - 69% (of respondents from this region had a pest control issue in their home)

South East - 66%

Scotland - 64%

East Midlands - 61%

North East - 58%

Northern Ireland - 57%

West Midlands – 55%

Yorkshire and Humberside – 51%

North West - 46%

East of England - 42%

Wales - 41%

South West - 39%

All participants were asked to reveal if a pest infestation would incentivise them to move home, with almost two thirds (64%) confessing it would and a further 6% revealing they had already relocated for this reason.

When asked to state the pest issue that would, or already had, made them want to leave a property, the top five answers emerged as follows:

Rats - 26%

Spiders - 16%

Wasps - 14%

Mice – 11%

Ants – 9%

Tara Hall, spokesperson for Hillarys, commented: “We’ve all encountered the odd creepy crawly in our home, but dealing with a recurring infestation can be expensive and stressful. This survey, alongside our infographic, highlights the different experiences with this issue across the UK.”

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    Now why is this. Is it because I the landlord decide to put a load of vermin in the property before I let it? Course not. I’ve had maybe 15% of my tenants complain of this. I go round to check and most of the time there are food scraps on the floor the cupboards are filthy. The cooker dirty and they wonder why they have mice. To me it’s simple it comes down to self respect, lifestyle and standards. And this is why tenants we ask that you keep the house clean


    Black bin bags piled high by the back door, tenant too bone idle to put them around the front on bin day, but hey ho my fault he had rats, yep been there, got the tee shirt. these days I regularly check my properties for rubbish build up, some people need their back sides wiped for them, but that's why they are tenants and not home owners.

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    Will always be the LL problem if tenant has mice or rats!!?
    I put in All tenancies that vermin in property is down to the tenant to eradicate and insure not repeated.

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    In regards to the comment of 'but that's why they are tenants and not home owners', I feel this is a very unfair comment towards tenants, I work within the housing sector, and I am a tenant, yet you are stating the issues are with the tenants, and that is why they are not homeowners! Unless I am reading your comment wrong ...


    Well the article quotes 64% tenants 36% Homeowners with pest issues. Are you saying that is a falsehood?

    Bill Wood

    For homeowners, this is their house as well as their home and everything is down to them. But tenants have someone elses house as their home, so there is a way they can receive assistance

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    No cure for Laziness, apart from rats waking them up to their own reality!

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    • 18 February 2019 14:19 PM

    Funnily enough mice are making themselves known in a ground floor flat of mine.
    The pest controller has noted mouse activity just outside the flat block.
    Mice have somehow made their way into the block and are apparently moving in the wall voids all round the building!
    There are voids that allow movement between flats.
    But I have checked with my tenants and been on site.
    They don't leave rubbish out and keep food in cupboards.
    They have even put traps out underneath the kitchen cupboards and the cheeky little sods have nicked the cheese bait and avoided the glue traps!!
    But there are certainly certain types of tenants and we all know who they are that are wont to be somewhat deliterious in their attentions to waste management!!
    A mattress here a pile of rubbish bags there.
    All things which attract vermin.
    Quite easy to manage if you can be bothered to get off your arse but then many of these tenant types seem to be permanently welded to their sofas.
    The idea of properly disposing of and managing their waste responsibly doesn't even enter their pretty little heads!!!
    I think much like the Privy Chamber tenants think their LL should be responsible for the Kings stool with always copious supplies of wiping material available to be used!!!
    Indeed this bizarre thinking is now enshrined in certain licensing laws where the LL is made responsible for the tenant's rubbish!!!
    I find the easiest way to avoid these pest problems is just not to let to these lower class tenants who seem to regard the word responsible in a completely different fashion to me!!!

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    Agree however mice can be disturbed from a near by building and try to take up a home in another. Block all holes get in pest control if clearly established that tenants do respect the property they rent, they do not leave food out all night, they do put bags of rubbish in correct bins and they do clean. Regular 2 or 3 monthly Inspections should show up the antisocial? If not charge tenant for pest control or tell tenant to instruct, taking time and dated pictures all the time.

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    This nanny state we now live in ,if your a landlord you are responsible for the people who just happen to live in one of your properties, the next thing to add to the list will be counselling risk assessments life style advice and anything else the government can make us responsible for

    • 18 February 2019 21:51 PM

    I don't believe that Govt thinks that tenants should behave in a tenant like manner.
    They seem to consider that the LL should effectively become the tenant and manage the property accordingly.
    I liken the situation to commercial tenants who arr expected to behave.
    Govt doesn't come after the LL to make commercial tenants behave.
    It seems only residential tenants are to be infantilised and managed by the LL!!!
    It simply isn't possible for LL to manage the domestic responsibilities of tenants.
    Apart from anything wouldn't such nannying be considered as preventing the tenant from having peaceful enjoyment.
    Can you imagine the LL calling the tenant every week to ensure the tenants put out the bins!!!!
    I'm sure the Council would consider such micro- managrment as harassment and yet the Council Licensing schemes make the LL responsible for the tenant's rubbish disposal!!!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Tara from Hillary's makes a very good point, However, the implications are 'FRIGHTENING '
    From the 20th of March, a Tenant will be able to approach a Legal Aid solicitor, by claiming that the vermin is hazardous to their health ( thereby qualifying for legal Aid. )
    Landlord will be taken to court for Damages and repaying the Legal Aid costs. A few mice are going to run into thousands £'s , and the Landlord is going to be 'obliged' to have a solicitor defend him'her against the Tenants claim.
    Its called the Fitness for Human Habitation Act, 2019, written by Legal Aid solicitors, pro-bono, funny enough.
    Any Category 2 HHSRS defect will qualify for the property raising a civil claim against the Landlord.
    The Govt ( 2nd time round, and all the Landlord Associations ) were hood-winked into supporting this Bill, because who could argue that Tenants should Occupy a home UNFIT for habitation ?
    However, the bill was craftily written in reverse. If there is a Cat 2 defect, it will qualify for a civil claim under FFHH. - Basically, FFHH has written the law to say a mouse makes a property UNFIT for Habitation, or any other Category 2 ( less serious hazard )
    Yes its correct that an exception is where the Tenant has caused the defect, but I don't fancy the Landlords chances of satisfying a court that the Tenant encouraged - caused the vermin infestation.
    There's going to some very expensive mice, scurrying about, vermin too ( I'll leave landlords to decide who's who )

    • 24 February 2019 23:59 PM

    I believe what you intimate is something that will very much concentrate the minds of many LL.
    Lifestyle referencing will now have to be very much considered by LL which is something offered by LRS.
    Paying the contractual rent on time and maintaining the rental property in good order simply won't be enough.
    The LL will somehow need to satisfy themselves that the tenants they take on will live in a fashion that will NOT generate hazards like mice!!!
    So that is no old mattresses or dog s### everywhere.
    Or rubbish bags piled up at the rear of a property.
    Indeed as a LL I would wish to check say once per month via video using the common video platforms like skype or whatsapp.
    Most tenants have smartphones which could cope with video interaction such that they could respond to a video call and then reverse the mobile camera to show the LL there is no waste build-up.
    Any tenants who refused to do this could expect an inspection by the LL forthwith to prove to any vexatious claim that the LL took steps to ensure the tenant behaved in a tenant like manner in removing hazards that might cause pests etc!!
    Utilisation of video contact can be a very effective way for a LL to police their property.
    Most tenants would have no issue in interacting with their LL or LA this way especially if it saves the LL ir LA having to attend the property.
    Such contact would be on a random basis such that a tenant would not have time to hide things or make things look more plausible than they actually are.
    Of cause such video interaction can be very useful for a tenant to show LL or LA any issues with the rental property.
    Everyone these days has a very capable smartphone with pretty good cameras.
    LL and tenants alike should make more use of these facilities to have more effective management.
    LL can no longer allow tenants
    Peaceful enjoyment as that could land the LL in court paying massive fines to the point of the LL being bankrupted.
    Tenants will have to accept that few LL will risk their financial circumstances to ensure a tenant has peaceful enjoyment.
    The LL will need to ensure there is nothing a tenant is doing which could generate hazards that might result in a vexatious claim against the LL.
    So tenants will have to accept more intrusion in their lives from LL and LA as this is the only way that vexatious claims might be prevented.


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