Filthy and verminous premises What can we do? Environmental Health Officers will carry out investigations and, where appropriate, may serve legal notices requiring owners to clean filthy premises and to destroy any vermin. (The Public Health Act 1936 gives councils the power to deal with cleansing filthy and/or verminous premises). If Notices are not complied with the Council can employ contractors to carry out the required works to clean the property and/or destroy the vermin. What is filthy and/or verminous? Filthy - usually means there is rotting food, human or animal excrement inside the property Verminous - means the property is infested with pests such as rats, mice, fleas or houseflies These powers can not be used to deal with 'cluttered' or untidy houses, rubbish in gardens etc. What should you do next? You can report any of the following using our online complaint form: Premises you believe to be filthy and/or verminous. A build up of rubbish in a garden. A property in a poor state of repair which is affecting your property. If you are concerned about the person living in the property and want to get help for them or yourself you could contact our Social Services Department.