Are you selling a house with bats in the roof?
Who would have thought that bats might impact on your house sale. If you have bats in the roof do you have a problem when it comes to selling your house?
So can you sell a house with a bat roost in your roof? You can sell your house if you have a bat roost in your roof, but you must disclose the fact you have bats to any potential buyers. Sellers need to know if there are bats present in a house as it may influence their decision as to whether or not they buy the house.
Bats are a heavily protect species and cannot be removed from their roost easily. Plus if you have bats in your roof, their access must not be impeded. But please read on to discover if you can get rid of bats safely and legally.
What do I need to do to sell my house if I have bats
If you have bats and you are attempting to sell it, you must inform all potential buyers of the presence of bats. This may put buyers off until you’re able to get rid of them, if at all.
If you have bats in your loft, you may have to wait until after the breeding season before you can even attempt to stop them coming back in, before you can put your house on the market to sell.
Otherwise you may find it difficult to sell a house with bats in the loft. Unless the colony is small and doesn’t smell or isn’t noisy.
Will bats affect the value of your house?
Not everyone will want to live with bats, so arguably having bats in your house may affect its value when you come to sell.
But as explained above, you cannot get away with not mentioning their presence to would-be buyers, as otherwise you and your estate agent would be breaking Consumer Protection Regulations.
But it has to be said that many people quite happily live with bats in their house. The bats come and go and the owners of the house are almost none the wiser of their co-habitants.
In the UK there are thousands of very old properties that are home to bats. In these old places the bats and homeowners live quite happily together.
Do bats make your house smell if you have them in your loft or roof space?
Small colonies of bats tend not to smell as their urine is minimal and their droppings are small and crumble to dust. But larger colonies of bats can give off a pungent smell due to the smell of a build up of droppings and urine. This may not be pleasant to live with.
Always check to make sure your problem is actually bats and not rodents like rats of mice. Bats are not rodents, even though they look a bit like mice with wings.
You can tell if they are bats from their droppings, as a rat or a mouse dropping doesn’t crumble to dust in the same way as a bat’s droppings do.
Also, bats become active around dusk and you may be able to hear their chittering as they leave their roost at dawn and when they return at dusk.
Are bats noisy and will you hear them if they live in your roof?
Small colonies of bats tend not to be too noisy, but a large colony in your roof space may be heard. The noise of a bat colony is a combination of chittering and squeaks.
What are the do’s and don’ts of living with bats in your house?
As bats are a heavily protect animal species in places like the UK and across Europe, you must be extremely careful what you do with them.
The do’s and don’ts of bats in your house:
- Do not try to poison, kill or injure the bats in your roof.
- Don’t intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat roost while it’s in your house. This is their place of shelter or protection and you’d be breaking the law.
- Do seek professional advice on your bat problem and speak with the National Bat Helpline.
- Do not trap them and don’t block their access hole during their breeding season.
- Make sure to find their access point in order to consider blocking it when the time is right if this is even possible. But if it is, this would be after their mating season. But before you even consider doing so, seek professional advice first.
- Don’t think that just because your house is modern it can’t have a bat problem, as all they need is a small access point and their in! But bats tend to live around woodland areas where they hunt of insects at night. They also live near to water so they can drink too.
The penalty for breaking the laws on the protection of bats is a prison sentence of up to 6 months and an unlimited fine.
How do bats get into the roof space of your house?
Bats get into your roof space by finding a small access hole. But they don’t only roost in lofts. They have also been found under roof ridge tiles and lead flashing or even between the gaps in mortar or behind facias and soffits too.
Bats need constant access to their roost in order to leave your house to feed. But then to regain access to their roost at dawn to sleep during the daytime.
But be aware that aside from their droppings and urine, bats don’t bring any else into their roost like nesting material. They do not cause any damage to property either.
Can you get rid of bats in the roof of your house?
It is possible to get rid of bats from your home, but this can only be done after seeking professional advice and outside of their breeding season. It is illegal to kill bats and to get rid of them you should seek professional advice and call the National Bat Helpline first.
But you may need to consider living with bats in your house.
How do you get rid of bats living in the roof of your house or flat?
The best way to get rid of bats is to block up the holes they use to enter your house. But according to the UK Government website you must not obstruct access to their resting or sheltering places.
If you intend to do this, firstly seek professional advice. But also this should only be done once the bats have left your house at dusk to feed. Also this can only be done when it’s outside their breeding season. But note the legal consequences noted above of breaking the laws that govern the protection of bats
Most bats are in fact seasonal visitors to buildings and are unlikely to live in the same building throughout the year. But just because bats have left a roost does not mean you can block up their access. Even in this case seek professional advice first.
Do you get bats in blocks of flats?
As with any building, most blocks of flats have a loft spaces too. It is therefore possible for bats to set up a roost in the loft of a flat too. All a bat needs is an access hole in order to get in and out for feeding at night.
How to prevent bats from setting up a roost in your loft
There are a few things you can do to help prevent bats from taking up living in your loft space. These include:
- Making sure there are no small access points for them to gain access in the first place.
- It is said that bats don’t like shiny objects like mirrors and Christmas baubles. Set these up in your loft to deter them from setting up a roost. Try these from Amazon. Whilst designed for birds they seem to work for bats too.
- Bats are put off by certain smells which includes eucalyptus oil or cinnamon. Putting one or other of these in your loft will discourage them.
Will lights in the attic keep bats out?
Lights in your attic are likely to deter bats as they tend to avoid spaces that are brightly lit because their eyes are not adapted to dealing with bright lights. Attics are rarely lit which is why they make the perfect bat roost for their nocturnal behaviour.
But if you already have bats the lights will only drive them into the dark recesses of your loft space.
Also, take a look at this video on how to deter bats from roosting too:
Does one bat in the house mean more?
It’s likely that if you find one bat in your house this generally means there will be more. Bats are mostly small creatures and tend to be very quiet during the day whilst they sleep, which means you are most likely to not even know they are there.
What attracts bats to your house?
Bats are nocturnal creatures and look to find safe dark places to sleep during the day, which is what attracts them to lofts houses as this is the perfect safe dark roost for them to sleep.
If you find a bat actually inside your house it’s usually by mistake and tends to be young bats getting lost on their way outside.
How small an opening can a bat get through?
The smaller bat species are able to squeeze through gaps of less than 20 millimetres, which believe it or not that’s about the width of a 5 pence piece (18mm) or a dime (17.91mm). These gaps include cracks and crevices in building materials.
You may or may not want to watch the video below to see a bat squeezing through the tiniest hole!
Is there a risk of rabies from bat bites?
There is a very small risk of a rabies transmission from a bat bite or scratch if they are handled. But to avoid this risk you should avoid contact with them, but if you do touch a bat use protective gloves beforehand.
Can bats stop planning permission?
Consideration should be given to the presence of bats for any proposed planning permission on a property. But you only need to undertake a bat survey if there is a reasonable likelihood of bats being present in the building.
If this process is not done to the local authority’s satisfaction, planning permission can be refused. But if bats are found and planning is given, consideration needs to be given to cater for the bat colony. This includes bat boxes, bat access roof tiles and a bat loft, but this depends on the species found.
In most cases of bats you should be able to avoid harming them or having to damage or block access to their roost. If you require an expert to do a bat survey, try Environmental Data Services directory and search on ‘bats’.
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