Renting in London:the accidental landlord resorts to desperate measures to rid her flat of pigeons

The accidental landlord flies into a rage - but even anti-pigeon balloons don't help to evict her feathered tenants... 

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They’re back — the smelly little squatters who sneak on to the balcony of my rental flat as soon as my tenants’ backs are turned. This time, they seem to have pecked their way through some fresh netting, undetected by the student tenants who were away for a couple of months.

When one student returned she found a pigeon dead on the balcony and its chick still alive in a nest in the corner. Not exactly the “welcome home” she was expecting.

Why, oh why do these pigeons always return to my property? They never bother with my neighbour’s place. In my efforts to prevent the blasted birds invading the balcony I’ve got net strung the whole way across it, held in place with steel cables and metal clasps. There are lethal-looking spikes installed on the handrail and on the window ledges either side, and a cricket bat stands in the corner.

Extreme measures, I know, but these creatures are a menace. I used to think they were cute, but now I want to wring their b****y necks.

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£508 a week: a four-bedroom, three-bathroom unfurnished townhouse overlooking Brighton Marina at Victory Mews, The Strand, is available to rent from this week

They perch on the spikes, coo until the tenants wake up, and every few weeks they peck their way through the industrial-strength netting and poo for England on my balcony. The tenants can’t go out there because of the anti-pigeon paraphernalia, which also isn’t exactly a style feature.

It’s the council’s responsibility to remove and dispose of the birds, as it owns the freehold to the flat and it installed the netting. The council tells me it will take 28 days just to send someone to inspect the damage and it isn’t possible to give me an estimate of how long it will take to get rid of the birds and fix the netting.

So, I Googled “how to exterminate pigeons” and found tons of deterrents on Amazon, most of which I bought in a pigeon-hating frenzy. My arsenal includes four scary-face balloons, a pack of shiny, owl-shaped pendants, a roll of anti-pigeon tape and a pack of anti-pigeon “rods”, whatever they are.

I decided not to buy the pack of 12 fake snakes after a reviewer posted a photo of pigeons nesting on top of the ones she bought.

Despite all this, I’m not hopeful. My ninja pigeons don’t even fly away when confronted with a mad woman brandishing a cricket bat (me), so I don’t think a balloon with a couple of eyes stuck on it is going to scare them.

I am getting so desperate. I have probably wasted £29.99 on all the balloons and pendants that now festoon my balcony. Never mind, it will be an interesting talking point next time I show the flat to a tenant.


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