A guide to dealing with bats in the attic

Have you discovered a family of bats living in a house you want to buy? Estate agent Hennings Moir talks us through the implications of living with these uninvited guests

Bats are an endangered species and are protected by law, which means it is a criminal offence to try to kill or remove bats or to change/block their roost.

If you’ve discovered bats are roosting in your dream home, you either need to forget about the property, or accept that you’ll have a brood of small and furry tenants living in the loft.

If you don’t want to give up on the property you’ve found, then you should read through the points below about why bats are less of a problem than you might think:

1. Bats are clean and sociable animals; they are not rodents and will not nibble or gnaw at wood, wires or insulation.

2. Bats don’t build nests, so they won’t bring bedding material into the roost.

3. Most bats are seasonal visitors to buildings, so are unlikely to live in the same place all year round – although they do tend to return to the same roosts year after year.

4. Female bats usually have only one baby each year, so properties don’t become ‘infested’.

5. All bats in the UK eat insects and are actually a great form of natural pest control.

On the other hand, there can be implications for any building or remedial work you may want to have completed. You will need to gain permission to undertake any timber treatment, which is normally allowed when the bats are not present.

If you want to find out more information before carrying out any work on your home, visit the Bat Conservation Trust.

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