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Dealing with mice

Rachel recently contacted us after her tenant reported seeing mice in the property. The tenancy agreement said nothing about pests and Rachel wasn't sure who was responsible for addressing the issue. Our adviser told Rachel she could contact Environmental Health, or a private pest control company, for an inspection.

Issues with mice and other pests can arise due to structural problems, such as holes, gaps, or damaged entry points. They can also happen if a tenant is not looking after the property, e.g. by leaving food or rubbish exposed. It is in the landlord's interest to address the issue promptly. A pest control officer will be able to determine how the mice entered the property and what caused the infestation. If mice entered due to a structural issue, the landlord must cover the cost of the pest control inspection and also repair the entry point(s). If the tenant caused the infestation, the landlord may hold the tenant liable for the cost of the inspection and for dealing with any recurrent infestations.

Rachel arranged a pest control inspection which showed the mice were entering the property through a small hole in the rear doorframe. Pest control also pointed out that they were drawn to the property by the tenant leaving out bread for the birds in the back yard. In this case, Rachel repaired the damaged rear door and agreed to split the cost of the inspection with her tenant. Rachel also wrote to the tenant, reminding her of her tenancy obligations to keep the property in good clean order, free of rubbish.