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Nan living in rat-infested home claims rodent jumped out onto grandson
October 19, 2021
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A grandmother has been living in an "uninhabitable" council house, infested with rats and damp, with her family of five.
Anita Tyrell from Hounslow in west London said the damp has become so bad that a surveyor labelled the house "uninhabitable".
She also claims that her sons have breathing problems because of the damp and a rat jumped out of a cupboard onto her young grandson.
The nan, who is disabled and can barely make it down the stairs, added that she has been waiting for six years for her house to be made wheelchair accessible, MyLondon reports.
She said: "I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I just want to lead a normal life.
"I have rats in my house, one jumped out on my grandson. I have breathing issues as do my sons because of asthma and the damp is making it worse. I am so fed up and frightened."
She went on: "I have contacted the council for years about the issue. I just want a wheelchair and can’t have one because the council doesn't sort out my house."
The family say they have taped material to the skirtings to disguise the crumbling wall underneath, as well as placing scented flowers, pots, candles and plants throughout the house in order to "mask the horrible smell of damp".
There are reportedly holes caused by rats throughout the floors and ceilings, with Anita fearing her home could collapse due to the damage.
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She said that the only time the council has had people over to try and do work on the house they have turned up unannounced.
Anita said: "There are lots of problems with this house. I am a proud woman and I keep the house clean and try to hide all of the smell and damp walls.
"I can’t be expected to live like this. If they start knocking down walls with all the dust and rubble, and I’m still in this house, because of my breathing problems I could die."
She added: "I need to be re-housed while the work is carried out or they at least need to give me some warning before they turn up at my house and want to start work straight away without warning me."
Anita said the damp got so bad that she paid for a private surveyor to come round and assess it in July but claims nothing has been done by the council since.
The conclusion of John Soulsby, the surveyors' investigation, said: "Sorting this out will cause a huge deal of inconvenience and disruption. By normal standards, the property is not fit for human habitation. This is due to the dampness, which requires urgent work."
Councillor Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, said: "Our teams have ordered pest control services to deal with the tenant’s reports of infestation, and a surveyor will soon be on sight to do a full survey this week.
"The Council is happy to re-house the tenant if the surveyor, after completing a full report, feels it is necessary to move the tenant while the urgent works take place."