It may not be the first thing you think about when you go to view a new property to rent for the next academic year, but it may be a good idea to ask the current tenants if they have experienced any problems with mice, bed bugs etc. Don’t forget, the current tenants are much more likely to give you an honest answer than the landlord or the letting agent.
When you first move into your new student house, do a thorough check for any sign of these unwanted intruders and, if you do find any, bring the matter to your landlord/letting agent’s attention immediately. This should be in writing – either an email or a letter, not a phone call or text, as you may need to refer to this at a future date.
Remember to view the checklist here
Hopefully, this will not be a problem you experience during your stay in Plymouth but remember that creatures like mice will move in to a warm environment with a good supply of food without waiting for an invitation.
It is your responsibility to make sure that the house is kept clean, the bins are regularly emptied (see Plymouth City Council’s information on waste collection) and that food is stored correctly either in kitchen cupboards or in the fridge.
It is unlikely that your landlord/letting agent will be very sympathetic to any problems you have with mice, bed bugs, etc once you have taken over the tenancy unless the problem is specifically caused by the conditions of the house. You will either need to deal with matters yourself, or contact the local authority or private pest control company, both of whom will charge a fee for their services. Cheaper solutions to consider are to block any entry holes in the floorboards with expanding foam (you should notify your landlord/letting agent in advance that you intend to do this), obtain some mousetraps, vacuum mattresses and wash bedding on a very high temperature.
The Shelter website has more information on this: https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/how_to_deal_with_pests_and_vermin_in_your_home
Last updated July 2020