21st Nov, 2017

Rock Hill residents speak of horror at living in rat-infested flats

Lorna Morris 19th May, 2017

A ROCK Hill mum has spoken of her horror at being ‘forced to live’ in a rat-infested flat for more than eight months.

Kirstie Edwards, from Breakback Road, has been left without a fridge or cooker after rats chewed through wires and caused damage to her kitchen.

The 27-year-old said she had been prescribed sleeping pills due to the ‘horrific sound of scurrying at night’ and even found a rat crawling on her three-year-old daughter Morgan when she was in bed.

After numerous complaints about the unwanted visitors, Kirstie said Bromford housing group, which owns the property, told her pests were the tenant’s responsibility.

“No one understands how terrifying this is for me to stay in this flat.

“The pest control company said my flat is very clean, so it isn’t my fault.

“I’ve been told moving is not an option, I would have to do a mutual exchange but I couldn’t do that to someone.

“I’m a single mum so I can’t afford to go, I feel like I’m being forced to live here.

“My daughter is covered in flea bites and the stress is really affecting me, I have ME and it is making me feel worse.

“I feel like no one is taking me seriously.”

In the adjacent flat on Foxwalks Avenue, father-of-one Kris Street has also been dealing with a rat problem for the past five weeks which left his three-year-old son, Owen, needing hospital treatment for a lung condition.

The 26-year-old, who lives with his girlfriend Hannah Johnson, said: “We have asked to move and the answer was categorically no.

“Our health is definitely suffering, our son has been in hospital and my girlfriend has been suffering with migraines.

“Rats chewed through our washing machine, cooker, landline, WiFi and surround sound.”

He added they were having to cook ready meals in a microwave in the living room as the kitchen was in such disrepair.

Councillor for Rock Hill, Michael Thompson, said: “These families are living in dire conditions, the story belongs at the beginning of last century, not this.

“Sadly, however, the more this government makes cuts to councils and housing providers, the more we will see hard working families living in these conditions with no help.”

Bromford’s locality manager Rishi Spolia said: “It is the responsibility of all of our customers to deal with any pests in their own homes and this is part of their tenancy agreement with us.

“However, as a responsible landlord, we do take every customer’s personal circumstances into account when we receive a report of this nature.

“We have been working proactively with both Miss Edwards and Miss Johnson to look at measures which will deter rats as well as giving them advice on how to treat the infestation.

“On Wednesday (May 17), our engineers spent time at both properties sealing off access points and we will continue working with our customers to ensure these issues are resolved as soon as possible.”

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