Making a complaint about pests or vermin in your flat (including mice, rats, cockroaches, fleas, bedbugs)

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A letter you can copy

What to do:

  • Copy and paste the text below into an email or document.
  • Replace any text [in brackets] with your own information
  • Include details {in curly brackets} if they are relevant, or remove them if they are not.
  • Send the email to your landlord, or print out the document and send it by post.
  • If you are sending by post, keep a copy for yourself and a record of the date that the message was sent.

For most letters, we recommend asking for a response within two weeks, but in the case of pests, swift action pays off and we have suggested a period of seven days at the most.

[Your address]
[Today’s date]

[Name of your contact or landlord]
[Your landlord’s address]

[Your rent/tenant ID number]
{REF: any reference number you were given when previously raising this subject}

Dear [your landlord’s name],

I am a tenant of [name of your block or building] and I am writing to inform you about an infestation of {fleas/mice/rats/cockroaches/bedbugs/silverfish} in my flat {and those of my neighbours}.

This has been ongoing since [month or year] and is causing {some distress/unsanitary conditions/damage to the fixtures/health problems}.

[English/Welsh tenants:] {As you will be aware, it is the duty of the landlord under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 to keep rented accommodation fit for human habitation, and this includes dealing with pest issues. {The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, section 11 also states that rented accommodation must not be allowed to fall into disrepair.}

[Scottish tenants:] {As you will be aware, the landlord of a Scottish secure tenancy (or a Short Scottish secure tenancy) under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 is required, by schedule 4 of that Act, to keep the house “in all respects reasonably fit for human habitation” throughout the tenancy.} 

[Add details of any disrepair caused by the pests].

Please could you contact me at your earliest convenience to arrange a visit, during which I can show you the problem and discuss its rectification. {My phone number is xxxxx.}

I look forward to receiving your reply as a matter of urgency, but by [date, one week in the future] at the latest.

Yours sincerely,
[sign your name]
[print your name]

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If you don’t get an answer within a week

Related guides


Beating the cockroaches

Examples of how residents across various London estates organised to solve the problem of cockroaches – permanently. In some cases the benefits went beyond mere pest control and even brought new paid work to the residents.
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Tips and letter templates to help you communicate with your landlord when there’s something wrong, or you want to find out more.


What is the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018?

What does ‘fitness for human habitation’ mean? It’s the name of a law that protects tenants from having to live in properties that are unsafe or unhealthy.
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Making a formal complaint

If you have made a request to your landlord and you’re not getting results, then what can you do next to get things fixed?


There are pests in my tower block

No-one wants to live with cockroaches, fleas or vermin. But getting rid of them may require a whole-tower block effort, not treating each flat individually.