Guide for Renters in the UK

How to avoid pest infestations

As a tenant in the UK, there are obligations in your tenancy agreement that you must comply with.  It is highly likely that one of these obligations will be that you should take reasonable precautions to prevent pest infestations – and if it’s not there expressly, it is likely that it will be considered a reasonable expectation of any person operating in a good, “tenant-like” fashion.

And it is always worth bearing in mind that some UK landlords will find any excuse to try and deduct money from the tenant’s deposit, so let’s not help them with their excuse-making!

Below are some precautions for you to take.  Following these will help you avoid issues, but do also familiarize yourself with the obligations that are set out in your rental contract (tenancy agreement).

Store fresh food securely

Keep fruits and vegetables in the fridge or in a store cupboard.  The higher up you store food, the less chance of mice, rats or insects getting hold of them.

Clean regularly

Food debris on the floor can attract insects.  Be sure to sweep, vacuum and clean any areas where food is consumed, prepared or stored on a regular basis.

Put your rubbish out

Make sure you put out your rubbish on a regular basis, especially if you have lots of food waste.

Dusting and vacuuming

Regular vacuuming and dusting mean you’ll minimise the chances of attracting dust mites or fleas. These animals can affect your health.

Wash bedding and linens

Make sure you keep bedding, linens, rugs and other fabrics clean.

Structural holes

Keep an eye out for holes in walls, floors, doors or ceilings. Mice and rats tend to live under floorboards or in the ceiling beams and can easily commute between buildings, especially in terraced housing. Make sure you report any such areas of vulnerability to the landlord in writing at the earliest opportunity.  It is the landlord’s responsibility to keep the property in a state of good repair.  If the landlord fails to do so and as a result there’s an infestation, it is likely that the landlord will be responsible for the costs of remediation.  But you will need to have evidence to show that you’ve done your best to bring such matters to the landlord’s attention in a timely manner, so do put everything in writing and keep photos and documents in case they are needed later.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help!

Ann has been an extremely valuable part of our relocation team as our primary contact in the UK.  She has been very responsive, professional, courteous and just plain nice.  She has been a pleasure to work with and has undoubtedly made this process easier for us.  She has been particularly helpful in dealing with a challenging landlord and we appreciate the levity she has brought to the situation.  Thanks, Ann!


Natalie  Francoeur, Massachusetts


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