Public Health

Filthy and Verminous Premises

What is a filthy or verminous premises?

Filthy or verminous premises are properties that are considered verminous (including rats, mice, eggs, larvae and pupae of insects or parasites) or in such a filthy condition as to be prejudicial to health.

Such properties are frequently characterised by an accumulation of material that can make access to a premises difficult and that may present a physical or fire risk to the occupants or those of adjoining premises.

What should I do if I believe a premises to be in a filthy or verminous condition?

If you believe a property is in a filthy or verminous condition you should contact the Public Health Team immediately.

Reporting a complaint

Please report the complaint where possible via email on either for commercial complaints or for domestic complaints. 

What can be done to tackle such premises?

The Public Health Team has a statutory duty to deal with filthy and/or verminous premises, under section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and section 83 of the Public Health Act 1936.

Once the Council has been notified of such a premises, an Officer from the Public Health Team will carry out an inspection of the premises to determine if enforcement action is required. Once this has been determined, discussions with the owner/occupier will take place to try and gain an agreement to remove all rubbish and articles and to thoroughly clean the property. If the owner/occupier fails to comply, the Council can serve a statutory notice requiring the property to be cleansed and all rubbish and filthy articles removed.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the notice may result in either prosecution and/or the Council carrying out the works in default (i.e. appointing a contractor) and recovering the costs back from the owner/occupier.


ID: 2382, revised 02/02/2023