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Rat Free Inspection for the Demolition of Structures

I plan to demolish a building or structure on my property.  Do I need permission from the Nassau County Department of Health?

The permit to demolish is generally issued by your local town, city, or village.  As part of the process, you will need to coordinate with the Nassau County Department of Health to obtain a Rodent Free Certificate.  Before the start of any demolition, the Nassau County Public Health Ordinance requires that the owner, or any person authorized by the owner, obtain a certificate issued by the Health Department stating that the premises and its buildings/structures are free of rodent infestation.  You will need to contact the Nassau County Department of Health to obtain a Rodent Free Certificate Application.  A Rodent Free Certificate is given after the application fee is received and the premises has been inspected by a representative of the Health Department and deemed rodent free by an on-site visual inspection.  The premises cannot be disturbed prior to the Health Department inspection; otherwise, the inspection is deemed null and void.

Why is this necessary?

When they are disturbed, rats will travel up to a mile or more to find a new place to live. The demolition of a structure will displace the rat populations through actual physical destruction and through ground vibration. To prevent the dispersal of a rat population, which can cause problems for neighbors throughout your area, we need to see that your property is free of rats before you begin to demolish it. It is essential that this inspection be conducted before any significant disturbance occurs on the site. Failure to do so makes the inspection impossible and may result in delays and extra costs to you.

What happens if the Health Department finds evidence of rats?

If rats are found on-site, you will be required to hire a New York State licensed exterminator at your own expense and eliminate rodent infestation before demolition can begin.  Rodent bait stations will need to be placed around the perimeter of the property and alongside all buildings/structures on the property to be demolished.  The bait stations must be serviced and/or monitored for a minimum of (2) weeks before an exterminator can declare the property rodent free.  A copy of the exterminator’s service invoices(s), listing all dates of service, must be sent to the Health Department accompanied by a letter from the exterminator declaring the property and all buildings/structures to be rodent free.  The Rodent Free Certificate will be issued based on the exterminator’s letter.  The certificate is then presented to the local building department as part of the demolition permit process.

How long does it take?

The Rodent Free Certificate application can be obtained at our office, by mail or by downloading a copy of the application and the application instructions via the County’s web site.  The application must be submitted to the Health Department with an application fee of $250 to be paid by either a certified bank check or money order before any on-site inspection of the premises can be conducted by a representative of the Health Department.  After receipt of the application and application fee, the Health Department will inspect the buildings, structures and premises, usually within 5-7 business days, looking for any evidence of rodent activity.  If the property is found to be rodent-free, the Rodent Free Certificate will be issued on the date of inspection.  The time it takes for your local municipality to issue the completed demolition permits is under its control.

Demolition must start within ten (10) days of the inspection date listed on the rodent free certificate.  In the event that demolition does not start within the ten (10) days, the owner of the premises or person having control of the premises shall obtain a new certification from the Health Department.

Is more information available?

If Nassau County property owners have additional questions or concerns about the Rodent Free Certificate, they can call the NC Department of Health - Community Sanitation Program (516-227-9715).