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Rubbish, whose responsibility?

Jack contacted Landlord Advice as a neighbour at the property he rented out had told him there was a build-up of rubbish at the side of the house.  There was a concern that the rubbish may attract rats.  The tenant renting Jack’s property has been there for some time and Jack was looking for some guidance on how best to deal with situation. 

We advised Jack that a build-up of rubbish could be seen as a public health issue and if the matter was reported to the local council they could issue a fine if they believed the rubbish was causing a nuisance. 

As the tenancy agreement stated that the tenant shouldn’t cause a nuisance to neighbours the current situation could put them in breach of that agreement. We suggested that in the first instance Jack should have an informal chat with his tenant asking him to deal with the rubbish.  If that approach proved unsuccessful we suggested he consider issuing a formal written warning pointing out that the tenant could be subject to a fine.