Dealing with infestations in student accommodation

Dealing with infestations in student accommodation Infestations

Bug, rat and roach free!

It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property is free from any form of infestation including:

  • Cockroaches
  • Rats
  • Bedbugs
  • Bats (highly unlikely, but the landlord should ensure appropriate steps are taken to manage their removal as they are protected and can only be removed in extreme cases)


If a tenant purchases a piece of furniture that is infested with bed bugs then the tenant must advise the landlord. Although the tenant takes primary responsibility to combat the situation, the landlord may take further steps to minimise their spread.

A landlord must respond quickly to a report of a bed bug infestation. The action of bedbugs should start within 24 hours. If a landlord fails to take action in an acceptable time frame, tenants can take further legal actions.

How to get rid of bed bugs, dust mites and other bugs:

Step 1: Take off the sheets and strip down the bed to the mattress

Step 2: Spray your mattress, pillows and around the bed with specialist disinfectant chemical spray that can kill this type of bug.

Step 3: Vacuum the bed and pillows. This may involve standing on the bed and vacuuming like you would when you Hoover the floors.

Step 4: Now use fresh sheets and blankets, with double pillow cases on pillows.

You may need call in professionals for a particularly large and widespread infestation.

Mice and Rats

Rats are more harmful than mice. If you have rats in your property you must contact your local authority’s environmental health department. They will send a team to your property to deal with the rats free of charge.

However, your local authority is less likely to deal with mice, and this is something you may need to sort out with your landlord. If the mice enter via a hole in the brickwork it is their responsibility to get rid of the infestation.

Be careful though, if the infestation occurs a few months after you have moved in, the landlord could argue that you were at fault if the property is not being kept to a high level of cleanliness. So, have a spring clean once in a while. Or buy a cat – subject to your tenancy agreement.

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