As a landlord, is a wasp nest in my property my responsibility?

Question

My tenant has reported a wasp nest in the property. Is this my responsibility or theirs?

Answer

Ah, the classic summer problem!

Many tenancy agreement state that it is the landlord’s responsibility to remove any vermin from the property, and wasps would fall under this description. Check if the tenancy agreement you and your tenant have both signed carries this clause, if so, you are legally bound to dispose of the wasp nest.

It is good practice to make sure that your property is free of the buzzy blighters at the start of the tenancy – don’t forget to include the garden in your property inventory! It is good practice to fully check your property, inside and out, for any pests before a tenant moves in as a matter of course – and don’t forget any loft areas.

Left unchecked, a significant infestation (you could end up with up to 10,000 wasps!) could actually cause structural damage to your property, so even if your tenant is seemingly unconcerned with the problem, make sure you get this under control as soon as possible.

And don’t forget, make sure you figure out what you are dealing with before you go steaming in. Make sure that you are dealing with a wasp’s nest, rather than a bee’s nests – bees are not an endangered species and cannot be exterminated. Your local council will be able to point you in the right direction of a local bee-keeping organisation who should be able to come and move a nest for you without harming the hive.

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