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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12064
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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The occupants of a farm cottage are surrounded by an infestation

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The occupants of a farm cottage are surrounded by an infestation of rats living/breeding and feeding in the adjacent farm buildings. The buildings are occupied/owned by another party. The occupants of the cottage are registered for council tax in their own names and own the dwelling. Within a few weeks a baby will be born to the occupants of the cottage.
What rights do they have and does the local authority have the power to intervene on behalf of the cottage occupants? The property is located in central Scotland.
Thank you for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland. The owners of the cottage have two remedies. The first is to proceed to court to get an order ordaining the farm owner to take steps to eradicate the rats. The grounds of such an action would be based on the law of nuisance, either at common law or under the title deeds if there is any provision in the title deeds which there may or may not be. The other alternative is to report the matter to the local authority environmental services department and they have the power to serve a notice on the farm owner again ordering them to deal with the problem on public health grounds. The latter course of action will not cost. The former, court proceedings route will cost and a solicitor would have to be involved. I hope that helps please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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