What is a filthy or verminous premises?
Filthy or verminous premises are properties that are considered verminous (including rats, mice, eggs, larvae and pupae of insects or parasites) or in such a filthy condition as to be prejudicial to health.
Such properties are frequently characterised by an accumulation of material that can make access to a premises difficult and that may present a physical or fire risk to the occupants or those of adjoining premises.
What should I do if I believe a premises to be in a filthy or verminous condition?
If you believe a property is in a filthy or verminous condition you should contact the Public Health Team immediately.
What can be done to tackle such premises?
The Public Health Team has a statutory duty to deal with filthy and/or verminous premises, under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and section 83 of the Public Health Act 1936.
Once the Council has been notified of such a premises, an Officer from the Public Health Team will carry out an inspection of the premises to determine if enforcement action is required. Once this has been determined, discussions with the owner/occupier will take place to try and gain an agreement to remove all rubbish and articles and to thoroughly clean the property. If the owner/occupier fails to comply, the Council can serve a statutory notice requiring the property to be cleansed and all rubbish and filthy articles removed.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the notice may result in either prosecution and/or the Council carrying out the works in default (i.e. appointing a contractor) and recovering the costs back from the owner/occupier.