Q: An owner with a tenant in situ says his tenant can hear vermin in the u-bend of her bathroom pipe and he wants the association to pay for a pest control officer to check the drains. This owner decided to upgrade his bathroom and we are unsure whether this was carried out satisfactorily. We have inspected the flat and there are not any holes or means of access for vermin from outside. Are we responsible? We thought he should have tried a baited trap in an outside (old refuse chute) cupboard attached to his property, for which we have no access without permission. Please could we have your view on this as no one else has any problems. We do live across the road from a canal and expect to see the odd fox but no one has seen any rats. We think in the pipe would almost certainly be mice.
FPRA Hon Consultant Emily Shepcar replies:
If the issue is within pipework which only serves the one flat, this pipework would be demised to that flat and it would be their responsibility for the investigations and rectification of any issues. If the problem is found to be with communal pipework, the service charge would then need to meet this cost. With regards to your comments about the bathroom works potentially not having been done correctly, if these interfere with the structure in any way, they would have required permission from the freeholder which, if not obtained, would be a breach of the terms of the lease.
[Submitted January 2020]