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Outdoor garden pest control - responsibility?

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Author Topic: Outdoor garden pest control - responsibility?  (Read 124 times)
Newbie
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« on: July 16, 2020, 02:08:14 PM »

Thought I'd garner other's thoughts before replying to the downstairs flat owner. She has the rear garden flat (the garden is exclusive to her flat). My flat is the maisonette (1st floor and loft floor). The third flat is the front garden flat. Get an email yesterday from rear garden flat owner forwarding her agents email:

Due to activity being noticed within your garden and shed and whilst the tenant was in the garden quick action was required to ensure deterrent from the building. There are three boxes externally one next to the bins and two in the garden, bait has been taken on the first two visits a third visit is due next week.

Activity has reduced and all owners should pay towards.


The external box next to the bins along the side pathway to the side of the house is the electricity box I believe, though this has a door and is closed. The two boxes (or sheds) are within her garden, and the garden is demised as part of her flat. The pest control invoice is 420 including VAT

My question, is this a shared cost? Seems to me as it's a problem in her garden (exclusive to her flat) and not a structural / maintenance issue to the building, shouldn't it be her responsibility? Also the rodents maybe coming from a neighbour's compost which could be another possibility.

Have had mice in my flat before and always paid the full cost and never asked the other property owners to split the cost, as I thought it was within my flat, but thinking about it, it maybe should be shared as they maybe coming via the roof voids (eaves) or a hole in the exterior of the building as the tenants guaranteed they always close the door and never leave food around.

Your input appreciated
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2020, 03:53:26 PM »

I had a situation with another flat owner,who tried to get everyone else to pay towards squirrel removal in her loft space.Some coughed up,others including myself refused,she had not discussed this with anyone before calling a company in.I had to laugh at "quick action required" over a mouse.If you still have a receipt for your mouse issue,I would produce it and ask for her share.
Newbie
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2020, 10:55:23 AM »

Thanks for your reply.  From what I can gather her agent just called in the pest control company and charged her. No consultation with any of the other share of freehold owners.  420 is a rip off if you ask me, and no comparative quotes given prior to going ahead. Quite frankly I'd sack the agent if I was the rear garden owner. Also I don't see how a private & exclusive garden has to do with the others, as anything in her garden would be her responsibility to maintain and up-keep
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2020, 11:25:24 AM »

I don't think you can be presented with a bill for an action you didn't approve, aiming to resolve a situation you were unaware of. This seems quite straightforward.
Newbie
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2020, 11:43:08 AM »

Aside from the bill (as the owner will claim her agent did it out of 'urgency').  I don't see how it should be a shared cost. It is not "buildings, structure" related.
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2020, 03:03:19 PM »

I agree with you.It would be like you expecting her to pay towards some repair within your flat.Cannot see how this is a communal expense. Even if it was,people need to have agreement and the chance to get alternative quotes,not just pay her bills.
Newbie
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2020, 11:14:22 PM »

Just to add some food for thought to add to the valid comments already given...

What sort of pest is it? Mice? Rats?

I only ask because rodents can enter a property as a result of poor maintenance - like a broken sewer pipe and mice through air bricks. It is true that if the garden is a mess it will attract rats, but think on this... if rats enter the footings of a block of flats due to an issue at ground level and climb up the cavity wall to nest in the roof space (I have experience of this unfortunately); then what would the view be about the division of costs then?

It sounds From what you say that the ground floor flat may well have a primary part to play, but using bait boxes may only be a temporary solution and it might be worth while understanding how they are getting in because they may be back.

Good luck
Newbie
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 11:51:39 AM »

The rear garden flat's agent said rats, probably to make it sound worse, but could have been mice.

There was no complaints or issues raise about entry into the rear garden flat, only that they were seen running about Outside in the Garden only.

IF it's a case of entry to the building due to holes etc in the building then it becomes a Shared cost.

As it stands however, baiting the external of the property eg the garden and garden shed BOTH exclusive to the rear garden flat, it is in my opinion that it is the rear garden's flat's sole responsibility to get the shed cleared out and baited.  But being external, it could be due to an infestation from one of the neighbours and the mice / rats were only seen traversing the rear garden's flat, in which case this issue will arise again.
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