Filthy and vermin infested premises
This page provides information and advice on vermin infested premises and who has the responsibility to sort out the problem in the borough.
Conditions like these can sometimes arise when a person is old or infirm and becomes unable to look after themselves, or sometimes where a person of any age suffers from mental health problems.
The person may have already refused help from family, friends or care agencies.
The house may have become filled with domestic or food waste so that rodents or insects are present.
In other cases a person may have become incontinent and may be unable to undertake personal hygiene tasks.
These kinds of conditions can also arise where a person has died and their body has remained undiscovered for a time.
The Public Health Act 1936
The law says that the person responsible for dealing with the conditions is the owner/occupier of the premises.
The best solution therefore is to persuade the person to accept help from you or other agencies.
Surrey County Council provides services for older people. Adult Social Care can be contacted at the County Council on 03456 009 009
Independent Home Solutions offers help with repairs and adaptations. For more information on adaptations and repairs then contact by:
Tel: 01737 845630
Independent Home Solutions CIC
The Old Crumpet Factory
16 Brockham Lane
Any costs incurred are the responsibility of the owner/occupier.
The Public Health Act gives the council the power to deal with these situations where the owner or occupier does not act of their own accord.
We would usually visit to assess the conditions, if possible jointly with a friend or carer.
The council is able to serve an enforcement notice on the responsible person requiring them to clear/clean as appropriate within a certain time, however, this is usually only done as a last resort.
If the person does not comply with the enforcement notice, the Council has the power to engage contractors to do the work. (We do not however keep a list of recommended contractors).
The costs of the work and any additional officer time costs are re-charged to the responsible person and will be recovered (with interest if not paid).
The enforcement process can be very stressful for the occupier of the property - it is therefore best if formal action can be avoided if at all possible.
More extreme cases
If you are dealing with a situation where a persons' health or behaviour is such that more than a clean up is needed then it is probably best to get them referred to Social Services (Surrey County Council Website) in the first instance.
Such situations might include where the person is chronically ill, aged or infirm or physically incapacitated and living in insanitary conditions.
If you would like further information please contact the Private Sector Housing section:
Private Sector Housing
Tel: 01737 276406
Last updated : 14/06/2012