The duty to control rats and mice on land will belong to the owner or occupier of that land. So, if you have a problem with rats or mice in your home or on your premises, then responsibility for dealing with them will be yours.
If you rent property, then as the occupier you will normally be responsible unless the infestation started before you moved in. If a property needs proofing against rats or mice then this is normally the responsibility of the landlord.
We have certain duties and powers under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949. It is the duty of the local authority to;
- destroy rats and mice on land which they occupy, and to keep land so far as practicable free from rats and mice
- to enforce the duties of owners and occupiers of land, to carry out such operations to rid their land or potential hazard causing pests.
We also have powers to ensure that block treatments are undertaken where that proves necessary in blocks of flats or a terrace of shops.
Land owners and occupiers must inform their local authority in writing if large numbers of rats, mice or other pests are present on their land (this does not include agricultural land).
Additional powers are available under the Public Health Act 1936 to deal with verminous premises.