Hemel woman criticises Hightown Housing Agency over rat problem

WARNING: Some may find the image distressing

Friday, 12th June 2020, 2:18 pm
Updated Friday, 12th June 2020, 3:34 pm

A woman from Hemel Hempstead has criticised Hightown Housing Association over rat problem which she describes as a 'living nightmare'.

Sophie Harrington lives in Jellicoe House with her two young children and says the sound of the rats running in her walls is keeping her and her children up at night, and she's afraid that they will get into her home.

She says she has contacted the property manager about the problem and her housing officer on a number of occasions but the rats are still there. She says the problem has been going on for five weeks and two weeks ago a dead rat was found in the kitchen wall and removed.

Sophie says this is where they are coming in from and it is still left open now

She said: "There are rats in the walls, you can hear them, especially at night, it's horrible.

"I have got videos of them in the wall and you can hear them scratching the walls.

"A dead one has been pulled out from behind the wall, the homes are badly built and I do think they will get into my home.

"The property manager came out and said that it's clean and tidy there is no rat problem and that there is nothing he can do about what's in the wall.

Sophie says the dead rat was found in her kitchen two weeks ago

"I do believe that one got in, I heard it in the night, but I can't prove it.

"I have spoken to my housing officer and she keeps saying she will get back to me and she never does.

"I have a three year old daughter and a five year old son, and they are petrified.

"My daughter thinks monsters are trying to get into the house in the night and my son told the health worker that there are rats in the walls.

"I'm petrified to live here, I think they will come into my home, I can't sleep, I can't keep living here like this, it's like I'm living a nightmare.

"No one will help me, I do not believe they will ever get the rat problem sorted."

A spokesperson for Hightown Housing Association said: “We are sorry that this has been a distressing experience for the resident.

"A wider problem in this area has affected Jellicoe House and we are doing all we can to stop rats getting into the building.

“We are using pest control services around the building and will visit regularly to monitor the situation.

"Some of the external areas around Jellicoe House are in need of clearing and tidying but are not owned by us, so we have been in touch with the relevant landowners.

"We have also arranged a meeting with local environmental health officers to ensure that those responsible for the surrounding areas clear their rubbish.

“Our staff have spoken to the resident numerous times and also communicated by email.

"Earlier in the week, we offered for a contractor to reassess her home but she declined.

"We would encourage our residents to contact us if they see any more evidence of vermin so we can take further action.”