As a tenant, you have certain rights when it comes to dealing with a rat infestation in your rental unit. First and foremost, you have the right to live in a safe and clean environment. This means that your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is free of pests and other hazards. If there are rats present in the unit, your landlord must take steps to remove them.
Your landlord may try to blame you for the infestation, but it is important to know that you are not responsible for pest control unless you have caused the problem yourself (for example, by leaving food out or not cleaning up properly). If your landlord does try to hold you responsible, be sure to get everything in writing so that you have documentation to back up your case.
You also have the right to withhold rent if your landlord fails to take care of a rat infestation in a timely manner. Withholding rent is a serious step, and you should only do so after you have tried everything else and your landlord has failed to resolve the issue. Be sure to keep meticulous records of all communications with your landlord about the infestation, as well as any costs you incur as a result of the problem (for example, if you have to pay for professional pest control services). Again, it is important to get everything in writing so that you have documentation to back up your case.
Consequences of rat infestations for Landlords
If you’re a landlord, it’s important to be aware of the consequences of rat infestations. Rats and mice can cause significant damage to electrical wiring, floorboards, roof insulation and even plasterboard walls. The longer you ignore the problem, the more it will cost to repair the mess.
Tenants won’t want to stay in a property infested with rodents. If you don’t address the problem, they will most likely hand in their notice and move out, leaving you with a vacant property that’s difficult to fill. You are then potentially stuck paying a mortgage with no income to cover the expenses.
So if you suspect there may be a rat problem in your rental property, it’s important to take action immediately. Call a professional pest control company to get rid of the rats and put measures in place to prevent them from returning. This will help protect your property and maintain its value in the long run.
How do rats spread?
Rats are prolific breeders, with a female able to produce around 72 babies per year. They reach maturity in just five weeks, so it’s not difficult to see how quickly their numbers can build up when food and shelter are readily available.
If you have rats on your property, it’s important to act quickly to prevent them from spreading to other areas. Rats can squeeze through incredibly small gaps, so seal up any holes or cracks that you spot. You should also remove any potential food sources, such as waste food or pet food left outside.
Diseases spread by rats
Rats can spread diseases to humans in many ways, including direct contact with urine, faeces, saliva, blood, and dead rats; ingesting contaminated food; inhaling air contaminated with urine and feces; drinking contaminated water; and being bitten or scratched by rats. Some of the diseases that rats can transmit to humans include:
– Leptospirosis: This disease is caused by bacteria that are found in the urine of infected animals, including rats. Humans can become infected through contact with contaminated water or soil, or by coming into contact with the urine of an infected animal. Symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting. If left untreated, the disease can lead to kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, and death.
– Salmonellosis: This disease is caused by bacteria that are found in the faeces of infected animals, including rats. Humans can become infected by consuming contaminated food or water, or by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. If left untreated, the disease can lead to dehydration and death.
– Hantavirus: This virus is carried by rodents, including rats. Humans can become infected through contact with urine, feces, or saliva of an infected rodent, or by inhaling dust that has been contaminated with these materials. Symptoms of hantavirus include fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. In severe cases, the virus can lead to respiratory failure and death.
– Plague: This disease is caused by bacteria that are found in the blood of infected animals, including rats. Humans can become infected through contact with infected rodents or their fleas. Symptoms of plague include fever, chills, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pneumonia, septicemia, and death.
If you come into contact with a rat or anything that may be contaminated with its urine, feces, saliva, or blood, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You should also see a doctor if you develop any symptoms of the diseases that rats can spread. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for a full recovery.
Signs of a rat infestation
1. Droppings: One of the most obvious signs that you have a rat problem is droppings. Rat droppings are usually dark in color and have a pointed end. They are usually about ½ an inch long but can be up to 1 inch long. If you see droppings in your rental property, it’s a good indication that there are rats present.
2. Gnaw marks: Rats need to gnaw constantly to keep their teeth from growing too long. This means they will gnaw on pretty much anything they can find, including wood, plastic, and even metal. If you see any gnaw marks around your rental property, it’s likely that rats are responsible.
3. Burrows: Rats are good at digging and will often make burrows in the ground as a way to get around. If you see any rat burrows on your property, it’s a sure sign that you have a rat problem.
4. Noises: Rats are nocturnal, so you’re most likely to hear them at night. If you hear scratching, scurrying, or squeaking noises coming from your rental property, it’s a good indication that there are rats present.
5. Damage: Because rats like to gnaw on pretty much anything, they can cause a lot of damage to your rental property. If you see chew marks on furniture or baseboards
In summary, both the landlord and tenant bear some responsibility for rat infections. However, the landlord is typically responsible for maintaining and repairing the property, which includes pest control. The tenant’s role is mainly to keep the property clean and tidy and to maintain a good relationship with the landlord. This is important if you want to avoid problems, especially if you don’t want your landlord to claim his rights under the lease agreement. If you have a rat infestation, it’s important to take care of it immediately to prevent further damage to the property and to protect your health.