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HouseWorth
© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. Selling a house with bats in the roof in the UK
House selling tips
31 October 2022

Selling a house with bats in the roof in the UK

Fatima Bukhari
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. Can I sell my property if I have bats in the roof?
  2. 2. Can bats prevent the sale of a property?
  3. 3. Reassuring buyers about bats in your property
  4. 4. The obvious downsides to having bats in your home
  5. 5. Selling your property with bats
  6. 6. The importance of declaring a presence of bats
  7. 7. Will bat protection impact carrying out work on your property?
  8. 8. Do home inspectors check for bats?
  9. 9. What is a bat survey?
  10. 10. How much does a bat survey cost?
  11. 11. Is it illegal to remove bats from your house ?
  12. 12. What are the legal consequences?
  13. 13. Dangers to bats
  14. 14. Bats do not prevent you from selling your home!

Selling your home can be a stressful task, but an addition of bats in your property will no doubt increase your stress. That being said, it’s not an impossible task to sell your property. There are just a few important precautions you need to take for a successful property purchase.

Can I sell my property if I have bats in the roof?

A question that might be running through your mind is, can you sell a house with bats in the roof? The answer is yes you can!

Unfortunately for bats however, their natural biome and roosting sites are scarce. As a result, the number of artificial roost sites have grown. These roost sites are now in the form of houses, barns, bridges and other structures. As a result, bats have declined in the UK drastically over the past century due to loss of habitat.

What is a bat roost?

A bat roost is any place that a wild bat can use for protection or shelter. Under UK laws a roost is protected regardless of any bats being present. This is greatly beneficial for the conservation of bats, but it can be a cause for concern for anyone who needs to carry out repair works or pest control.

Can bats prevent the sale of a property?

Having bats in your property should not prevent the success of your home selling. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you list your property.

You must declare to any potential buyers that there are bats in your property, also reassuring them of the fact that it’s unlikely for bats to be disruptive or cause any problems.

Nonetheless, if any issue were to arise you must provide potential buyers with resources. For example, the Bat Conservation Trust has an available national bat helpline for anyone living with bat colonies.

Reassuring buyers about bats in your property

Sharing your home with bats is more common than you think, and during October they might just be the seasonal accessory to have.

Jokes aside, bats do not cause any structural damage - unlike their rodent counterparts, rats. Therefore, any wooden structures or wiring throughout your home will likely stay safe and undisrupted. Bats use existing free spaces in your home to roost, but they will not bring any food or bedding material to their areas. Although not portrayed as such in the media, bats are clean and sociable animals.

Bats are seasonal visitors, and might only use your property as a roost during certain times of the year, such as breeding season.

Unlike their media portrayal, bats will not recklessly disturb or interfere with your home, and are practically invisible houseguests.

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The obvious downsides to having bats in your home

Of course, there are downsides to having bats living in your home, one of them being bat droppings. Although they have no smell as bats ingest insects, they are definitely an inconvenience to clean up.

Unfortunately, there are known health risks that can be bat related. Bats can often carry diseases such as rabies which can be spread through their droppings. Although the caveat of likelihood is low, these droppings can also host a variety of diseases and parasites.

Another downside to having bats living in your home is dead bats. Aside from the obvious discomfort of finding a dead bat, the smell can travel throughout your home. It is important to not directly handle the bat and follow guidance from the Bat Conservation Trust.

Selling your property with bats

You can absolutely sell your property if you find yourself with a bat colony living in your roof.

Unfortunately, because of the negative stigma surrounding bats, the process of selling your home might start with some difficulty. Therefore it is both vital and beneficial to you and any potential buyers, that you educate them on the situation.

For example, providing information regarding the roost and clearing misconceptions by citing research from professionals in wildlife conservation. As a seller, it is your responsibility to educate the buyers and bust any bat myths.

The importance of declaring a presence of bats

If you don’t declare the presence of bats in your roof, it will most likely be found in a survey of your home. This will portray you as an untrustworthy seller, especially because the survey was done later down the line during the house purchase process.

Just like in any industry, things spread quickly, so it’s in your best interest to be open and honest with any potential buyers. Not disclosing bats in your property will make it harder for any future house sales.

Will bat protection impact carrying out work on your property?

The laws put in place to protect bats do not actually prevent you from proceeding with any work. Although, it is important to take bats into consideration, firstly by soliciting advice from Statutory Nature Conservation Organisations (SNCO).

This will ensure that bats are protected and taken into consideration, especially when work is taking place.

Do home inspectors check for bats?

Surveys take place if any building work is to be carried out. If bats are found in your home, then a bat survey will decide whether or not planning permission is granted.

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What is a bat survey?

If you are looking to renovate, convert or modify an old building, you need to conduct a bat survey. This is to determine the presence of bats within a building.

The reason you need to undertake a bat survey is to ensure bats will not be disturbed or disrupted in their natural habitat. Bats are recognised as a protected species, and so it is an offence to disrupt their environment.

A bat survey is key in making sure all of the required precautions are taken to avoid any long term harm or impact to a pre-existing bat inhabitation. The initial survey is executed by an experienced bat surveyor who inspects external features of the building, including roofing and chimneys.

How much does a bat survey cost?

The typical cost of a preliminary bat survey starts at £300, however costs can vary depending on the number of locations to inspect. If this preliminary bat survey does not confirm an unlikely presence of bats then you must go through with a full specialist bat survey.

The full bat survey typically costs around £1000 plus.

Is it illegal to remove bats from your house ?

It is illegal and a criminal offence to remove the bats from your home, as it is disrupting them from their resting place.

You are not legally allowed to damage or obstruct the area in which rats are resting or breeding, for example in your attic or roof. In addition, it's illegal to obstruct access to their resting or sheltering places, as well as transporting live or dead bats.

If you are found guilty of committing any of these offences you could be sent to prison for up to 6 months. You may also receive an unlimited fine.

Dangers to bats

It is crucial to acquire planning permission before getting any work done on your property. This is because there are many ways work can cause harm to bats.

The works include:

  • Renovating, converting or demolishing a building
  • Repairing or replacing a roof
  • Insulating or converting a loft
  • Using insecticides or treating timber

Bats do not prevent you from selling your home!

Bats do not prevent you from selling your home, however it’s necessary to take them into consideration before doing so. When preparing to sell your home, the protection of bats in their habitat is important to maintain.

This is especially important because bats are endangered and protected species, and although it may not be the most ideal situation to have bats in your home, there is not much you can do.

As a seller it is your responsibility to educate any future buyers as well as maintaining a safe environment for the bats.

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Thinking about
selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

Compare estate agents

It takes 2 minutes.

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