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Have you got bats in your attic? home front with TONY FILICE.

Byline: TONY FILICE

If you discove o ry bats roosting in your prop r -erty, y it is understanda r ble a to be worried and concerned at first. r Howev o er v , r these creatur r es r will do no harm to the property r , y or you.

All bats in the UK arer very small, ranging from r 5-30g, but they e can live i up to 30 years. r They arer not rodents so won't ' gnaw at cables, a insulation or other areas r of the propert r y. t Bats do not build nests and do not bring bedding material into the property r. y Their droppings r arer black, c 4mmto8mmin length and arer often confused as mouse droppings. r In fact bats arer clean animals and also prefer r to live in clean, relative i ly draught-fr r ee roosts. They arer often found in lofts, under tiles or flashings.

As they t end to return to the same roosts ever v y r year, r these arer protected r by law. a Finding bats in your property r means repairs t r o timber treatments r cannot take k place - youwill need to contact Thereleva e nt a Statutory r Nature C r onserva r tion Organisa r -tion and follow o their advice d befor f e ar ny works proceed. r This h applies not only t l o home-owner o s b r ut arch r itects, h property r deve e lopers, r pest controller r s, r demolition companies, surveryo e rs, builders r and roofers. r All 16 species of British bat arer protected r by the Wildlife i and Countryside r Act 1981.

The Conserva r tion (Natural r Habitats a etc) Regulations 1994 (Schedule c 2) reinfor f ces r it andmakes k it illegal to kill, injure, r capture r or disturbbats, obstruct access to bat roosts, or damage or destroy r them.

In this context, e damage would include such o c perations r as treatment r with toxic o chemicals found in wood preser r va r tive i s, or chemicals used to eradicate r pests, such c as cluster flies.

Under the law, a a roost is any n structureor r place used by them forshelter or pro-r tection.

It is important to note that the roost is protected, r whether the bats are p resent ' not.

If you do break r the terms of the act, you could be facing a potential fine.

Offence per bat can be PS5,000 -and a it's ' worth remembering that some roosts contain seve e ral a hundred r bats.

And if that isn't d ' eterrent r enough, you could face up to six months in jail.

| TONY FILICE, Fellow of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fellow of The National Association of Estate Agents and Director of multi award winning Kelvin Francis Ltd, Cardiff. f
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 11, 2013
Words:496
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