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Housing: Pests

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what recent discussions she has had with local authorities on pest infestation control in domestic properties following last year's flooding; and if she will make a statement; (183098)

(2) what responsibilities local authorities have with regard to pest infestation in domestic properties; and if she will make a statement.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System is a risk based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings. It was introduced by Communities and Local Government in 2006 together with local authority operating guidance for its use.

Local authorities are responsible for the local implementation and enforcement of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. If a property is found to contain serious hazards the local authority has a duty to take the most appropriate action in relation to the hazard.

Infestations from mice, rats and other vermin are hazards covered by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

No local authorities have raised the issue of pest infestation in the context of flooding. We continue to keep in close contact with flood affected authorities as they recover from the summer floods.