House infected by bugs: I rent a room... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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House infected by bugs


I rent a room in a shared house which has been plagued by bugs this last couple of years The landlady is in her seventies and was in bad health last year She got a pest control firm to give her a price to disinfect the house but when she hear the price she did not hire them We have to try keep them under control using Raid and house flee spray

It's getting to me and I have had a cough for months , never had a cough or never smoked As regard the legal side what options have I got ??

15 Replies


Could be a problem deciding who takes responsibility.

I bought a plug in that supposedly omits a load noise that sends them into the wall cavity. I got it last year when plagued with the huge spiders we got and seemed to do the trick, I leave it plugged in and even flies that come through the door seem to disappear within an hour or so. Worth looking one up. Got mine on line. Good luck.


If you are in the UK you should report it to the environmental department at your local council.

You do have legal rights, if there are bugs technically it is unfit for habitation. The lady who owns it may be able to claim on her house insurance to pay for erradication, or get it cheaper with the local council the place to contact is environmental health there are details on line at your local councils site. With respect pest control firms it pays to shop around the price can vary by as much as several 1000 of pounds. As the landlady is a pensioner there maybe other channels of help if she is only trying to make ends meet by letting rooms out. Good luck with getting things sorted out.

Be careful ,the sprays and insecticides are probably making you cough. As others have said Environmental health at the council should advise. Have the bugs been identified.

I agree with Katieoxo. Your home has to be fit to live in. As a tennant you have rights. Might be worth ringing the council?

Be extra careful with sprays. A major exposure to flea powder in the early 70s triggered asthma which Id never had before but have had ever since.

There are bugs all over the country now - there was an article in the papers (Observer or Guardian) a day or so ago and yes, it is the hot weather. Nothing to do with whether the place is dirty or clean - that's a myth. Apparently they attach themselves to luggage when you've been abroad, and they tend to hang around any seating areas, e.g. travel, bus or train, cinema seats etc etc. Some people react to the bites, some don't.

No idea about legal position but you've got some good replies on that. As if we didnt already have enough to deal with.

This gives some useful info:

Apparently carbon dioxide attracts them and unlike fleas bed bugs only feed on human blood. Roll on halloween.

hI iVY,land lords if private landlords must comply with the same laws as counciland housing associations now and that IS LAW it is fairly new so she might not know. contact the cit-advise and or the local Council for more advice.You do NOT have to live in those condx now good luck YOU ARE ALLOWED 15MIN WITH A Solicitor from the cit-advice regards Tom

Ivy1950 in reply to tomhatha

Thank you for the information and thanks to everybody who replied

Ivy1950 in reply to tomhatha

I'm not sure if this landlady is above board with council regulations as the house has had nothing done to it since Iv been here and that is ten years I think you now have to have a licence to let property

tomhatha in reply to Ivy1950

The new LAW says that a PRIVATE landlord MUST obey the LAWS used by Housing associations and Council Houses so, she MUST have the house/room etc fit for living and what you diesribe id not a fit for living place. regards Tom


Hi take it to your local citizens advice or local MP. If you have a lung condition you should not be forced to live in such circumstances and your landlady should be forced to take action.


You have been given good advice, you don't have to live in those conditions, especially with your health condition so please contact your local council and if they don't take it up then Enviromental Health. I don't know where you live, I'm in Scotland but the rules should be the same. I would say you should be rehomed via council. Please look into this and look at help available via Citizens Advice or if your on benefit speak to a lawyer.


Ivy1950 in reply to Tarapup5

Thank you once again

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