I found a flea infestation in the flat.
I do not have pets, but the previous tenant did, unbeknownst to the landlord. I could not notice the fleas during the first two weeks of rent - the ones during which OpenRent holds the first payment - because I was travelling for work, and because their life cycle does take a few days and a stable host to complete.
Is the landlord supposed to be responsible for the extermination of the fleas?
I am taking care of it myself (I am lucky enough to have friends among vets and parasitologists) and have not asked the landlord for anything at all, not even a reduction in rent. However, he’s been less than gracious about it and keeps implying that I am somehow responsible for it (in the latest exchange he ‘wondered’ about my taking the shoes off when I am in the flat in relation to my being bitten on ankles and feet - which is where fleas bite).
Would I be legally entitled to anything from him (for instance, reimbursement of expenses covered)?
I’m really sorry to hear you are having issues in your tenancy.
The tenancy is a private agreement between you and your landlord and since OpenRent are not legally involved, we are unfortunately not able to intervene in the tenancy itself.
There are organisations that are able to provide more comprehensive help and legal advice. The first place we’d suggest is Shelter’s livechat or helpline:
They’re open 365 days a year, and they’ll be able to provide free advice on the best next steps to take here.
If you are looking for advice specifically about repair work (or extermination in this case) that is needed in your property, we’d recommend getting in touch with your local council about the guidelines your landlord should be operating within. Your local authority will describe how long a landlord should take to repair your issue depending on the category your repair falls within, as well as describing the conditions of each category.
This Government advice page will help direct you to your local authority and how to report repairs when they aren’t done: