Can Council Help With Rats?

Pest control services may charge anywhere between £100 to £300 for a rodent infestation in your house. Once contacted, they usually send a surveyor to assess the nature and depth of the problem and give you a quote along with the scheduled date for their visit. You may be required to vacate your house for a few hours during the infestation control process. In certain cases, they might have to revisit to re-treat the problem. It would be helpful to know  How Much Does Pest Control Cost in the UK? to have an idea of the possible costs involved. 

Can Council Help With Rats?

There is a bit of a grey area to this question as the answer depends on the circumstances of the tenant and landlord.

If you are a private tenant, it depends upon your tenancy agreement whether the liability for pest/rodent control falls upon the landlord or the tenant. In most cases, landlords are responsible for paying the bill for pest control services while the tenant is expected to make the necessary arrangements for its process. 

However, if the pest control situation arises due to any action of the tenant or due to neglect by them, tenants may be required to pay the bill for such services 

In case you live in a council house, pest control in the surrounding areas of the council remains the responsibility of the council itself. However, pest management within the household depends upon your situation. While councils are not committed to providing pest control services, you should inform them of such a situation and seek their guidance on how to proceed with its management. In some cases, councils may be able to connect you to reliable and affordable pest management providers. In exceptional cases, they may be able to manage the expense as well. It is advisable to Report a pest problem to your council office as soon as you detect it.

If your council house is owned by a social housing landlord, the responsibility for pest/rodent control depends on your tenancy agreement. If the landlord has clearly taken responsibility for its management, they will pay for the expense; expecting the tenant to be available and responsible for the execution of the service.

If the pest infestation is due to a careless act of the tenant or they have failed to inform their landlord in time, they may be asked to foot the bill for pest management services.

To learn more about how councils help their tenants, we will discuss the following topics in this article:

  • Council help with carpets
  • Council help with household essentials
  • Council help with moving costs
  • Council help with rent arrears
  • Eligibility criteria for council housing
  • Choosing a council house

Can Council Help With Carpets?

No, councils do not help with the provision of carpets for residents of council houses. However, if you inform your local authorities that you need carpets for your council house, they will be able to connect you to certain charities to help you find grants for furniture and carpets, while some of them may offer preloved items including carpets at reasonable prices.

Can Council Help With Household Essentials?

Yes, local authorities can assist with household essentials for their tenants. While councils may not directly pay for the furniture or home equipment that a council house resident requires, they can connect them to charities who can either offer the pay for the furniture while the resident pays them back in instalments or sometimes they may simply make the payment on behalf of the resident(s) who is not expected to make any payment at all. 

To be eligible for an interest-free loan you must be on benefits including the following:

  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit

Residents who are on low-income and unable to afford living essentials such as furniture, household equipment may be able to find help in the following ways (in addition to council’s assistance):

  • Social landlord
  • Grant giving organisation
  • Second-hand furniture seller
  • Affordable credit

Can Council Help With Moving Costs?

Yes, councils can help with moving costs. They have certain allowances available with them to extend financial aid in the form of grants or loans to those who are in need and qualify. 

At times, they may be able to arrange a Discretionary Housing Payment, which is a one time grant extended to cover the costs of housing. Local authorities will consider the following factors in this regard:

  • Conditions that make the applicant’s circumstances critical, exceptional or different.
  • Whether or not a one-time payment will provide real help for their situation.
  • Whether one-time assistance is required or it will be repeated due to financial constraints.
  • Possible long term solution for the applicant’s financial assistance.
  • The amount that they will receive.

Applicants claiming Universal Credit may apply for a “budgeting advance”. This is an interest-free loan that aims to cover the costs of advance rent, removal or moving costs.

Find your local council to learn about the offers that they may be able to make depending on your circumstances.

In addition, to help with moving costs, councils can also help with payments of your tenancy deposit, rent or rent arrears; as well as with household essentials such as furniture and household equipment including white goods. It is advisable to Work out your budget by using this online calculator so that you may be able to manage your finances better.

Your local Citizen’s Advice centre can prove to be a useful guide in connecting you to charities who help people with rent and moving costs.

Can Council Help With Rent Arrears?

Yes, councils can help with rent arrears in many ways such as repayment plans of easy instalments. Additionally, claimants who are also on benefits in addition to availing a council house will find it easier to seek easy payment plans from their councils or social housing landlords. For instance, if you are on Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you may simply have your payments transferred to for payment of your rent through Direct Debit or a Standing Order.

If this is not a workable solution as Housing Benefit or Universal Credit do not account for the entire amount of your rent, you may apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). This is extra money provided by your local council to meet your rent payments or arrears (if you have any). You are not required to return this amount to the council. If you are on Housing Credit or Universal Credit, you can ask your local council for a DHP form. Find your local council here.

You can also reassess your situation to see if you are living in a council house beyond your needs. If you have a spare room, you may consider moving into a smaller council house to reduce your rent expense or taking in a lodger to increase your income so you may be able to make rent payments on time.

If you are not on benefits Check if you can get Universal Credit to make rent payments easier.

If you are struggling with living expenses, you can try Reducing your living costs through your council’s assistance.

Who Is Eligible For Council Housing?

Key criteria for council housing eligibility include the following:

  • the applicants hold British or Irish citizenship
  • they have indefinite leave to remain
  • they fall under settled status (under the EU settlement scheme)
  • they are refugees or under humanitarian protection
  • they are a Commonwealth citizen with a right of abode
  • Who Gets Priority For Council Housing?

While each council has an individual allocation scheme to follow in terms of assigning priority to council housing applicants, those claimants who fulfil any of the following criteria are expected to be higher on priority:

  • if someone is legally homeless 
  • they have to move homes due to a serious medical condition or disability
  • due to hardship-anything from medical treatment or potential danger to changing jobs
  • currently residing in an over-crowded house or under poor living conditions

Can Applicants Choose Their Own Homes?

Applicants will need to check with their local councils whether a place of residence will be chosen and assigned by the council or the residents be given the option to choose. In the case of the latter, once the application is approved, the local council may share an online platform where the process of “bidding” takes place.

If a candidate finds a suitable home and prefers it as their residence, they may inform the council of their intent by applying for it online. This is called “bidding”. The council may then direct them on how to proceed with the next steps in the bidding process.

A bid is merely a show of interest from the candidates’ side and does not guarantee that they may be assigned the premises. Depending upon the priority band and the time taken as part of the waiting list, the council decides whether the property is to be assigned as a housing facility to the bidding candidate or not.

In some cases, should candidates not approve of the housing facility assigned by the local council, they have the option of refusing it. However, too many refusals may lead to removal from the waiting list.


While councils may be readily available to advise on rodent/pest control management problems (and even suggest affordable services) in your home, it is not necessary that they will take responsibility for providing such services or paying for their expenses. However, if there is a rodent infestation in the area outside your home (whether privately rented or in council housing) or in the surrounding area, local councils will manage the pest control as well as bear expenses.

FAQs: Can Council Help With Rats?

How do I report a rat problem to the council?

You can place a phone call to your local council office to inform them of a rat problem as this is a matter of urgent attention. On the other hand, you also use their website to establish contact by filling up an online complaint form or sending an email.

How much does getting rid of rats cost?

Rodent control can cost anywhere between £ 100 to £ 350 per visit (in extreme cases retreatment may be required). The actual figure depends upon the size of the premises to be attended to as well as how far reached the problem is.

How can society get rid of rats?

By removing rubbish from the property, one can try to minimise the presence of rats. Alternate methods include rat traps using food items or populating the area with owls for nature to take its course.

Can you get rid of rats permanently?

While there is no guarantee to these methods, however, keeping trash bins covered, surrounding your garden with mouse traps or alternate methods as using peppermint oil in affected areas may help to minimise the presence of rats.

How long does it take to get rats out of your house?

If you are using rat poison, it may take between 3 days to a week to get rid of the rats. However, if you plan to trap them by using food as bait, it may take a bit longer.


Repairs – infestations of pests and vermin

Pest control on your property

Repairs and maintenance in council and housing association homes

Discretionary Housing Payment – What is Discretionary Housing Payment?

How to Get Help with Moving Costs – RemovalReviews

Get help with renting costs

Paying off your rent arrears

Get help with renting costs

Local welfare assistance | Local welfare assistance

Getting a council home

Council housing