Filthy or Verminous Properties

Filthy or verminous premises are properties that are infested by vermin, such as rats, mice, disease carrying insects or parasites, or in such a filthy or unwholesome condition as to be prejudicial to health, for example where there is a large amount of rotting food and/or human or animal excrement inside the property.

Properties in this state are often associated with people who are no longer able to look after themselves, or who may hoard lots of items. This can make access to the property difficult, and present a risk to both the occupants and those living in neighbouring properties.

Properties like these present a real risk to public health, as well as causing distress to neighbours due to unpleasant smells, vermin or problems caused by poor repair.

We are usually made aware of such cases by referral from blue light services,  social services or housing officers, although some may only come to our attention when concerned neighbours or relatives contact us.

What can the Council do?


Under the provisions of the Public Health Acts (1936 and 1961), Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, we are able to take action to help resolve these issues. Such premises have to be dealt with sensitively, and we will sometimes work in partnership with Adult and Community Services and other organisations.

Once we have been notified of a property in this state one of our officers will carry out an inspection of the premises.

If it is decided that enforcement action is required we will speak with the owner/occupier to arrange for any hoarded items to be removed and for the property to be thoroughly cleaned. Please note the cleansing process is to remove the public helath concern and will not deal with the appearance of a property or accumulations of inert material.

If the owner/occupier fails to comply, a statutory notice requiring for the property to be thoroughly cleaned and all rubbish to be removed will be served.

Failure to comply with the requirements of this notice may result in either prosecution and/or the Council appointing a contractor to carry out the work and recover the costs from the owner/occupier.

Make a Report


To report a filthy or verminous property please complete one of our online reporting forms using the below weblink: