Filthy or infested properties

Sometimes a property can be so filthy and infested with pests that it is harmful to the person living there and causes problems for neighbours.

If the property is full of:

  • food waste
  • animal or human poo
  • dirty clothing and furniture
  • pests

Then it can be described as ‘filthy and unwholesome and/or verminous’. This is the wording used in law.

The situation inside the house must be more than just a bit messy or untidy, the issue must be bad enough that it is dangerous to human health. Hoarding of items and personal belongings does not usually fall into this category.

The law only applies to the inside of the property, and not the gardens or outside.

How to report any concerns

We can get involved to try and improve the conditions for the person living at the property under powers given to us by public health law.

We may be told about a property by outside agencies like Social Services or the emergency services. Sometimes we are told by concerned neighbours or family members.

If you have a concern about a filthy or infested property, report it to us via:


Phone 01903 737755

What we can do

A member of our private sector housing team will carry out an inspection and talk to the resident to decide on any further action. We always try and resolve the issue in partnership with the resident first, unless the situation is very bad.

We can, if necessary, serve legal notice that the property must be cleared of items and cleansed. If the resident doesn’t do this, we can employ contractors to do the cleaning and pest control and recover any costs from the resident.