Mum's despair over rats in Salford housing association home

A mother has said her son has been having nightmares after huge rats were found in the family's housing association home.

Jane, not her real name, said she found six dead rats in kitchen cupboards after moving to the house in Little Hulton, Salford in May 2023.

She said she hears rats " swarming around at night" and they "sound like a pack of dogs".

Housing association firm, ForHousing, said it was "very sorry".

The council's pest control team has been contacted to arrange an urgent visit, it added.

Jane said: "My little boy is screaming in the middle of the night, they are that loud and he's having nightmares about the rats."

She said she could smell the rats as soon as she walked into the house last year, adding: "Rats in the roof have eaten all the loft insulation."

She said a council worker said it was "one of the worst cases of rat infestation he'd ever seen".

Rat urine stains on the bedroom ceiling
Stains of rat urine could be seen on a bedroom ceiling [ldrs]

A job sheet completed by the infestation control officer said: "Pest control [is] required to clear rats from [the] loft which are weeing everywhere and causing stains on the ceiling, which is making it look like a leak."

But Jane said the housing officer told her it was something she would have to deal with herself, including disposing of the dead rats.

In desperation, she wrote to Chief Executive of ForHousing, Mike Parkin, who replied: "I have asked once again for one of our senior managers to get a grip of this and ensure we take action.

"I have asked for updates during the day. I understand we have let you down and having suffered a rat infestation when I was younger and in rented accommodation, I can truly understand how distressing this is."

Jane told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she had asked for the family to be moved but in the meantime her children were being forced to stay with relatives as they "cannot live in this house".

Nigel Sedman, executive director of homes at ForHousing said: "I am very sorry for the issues Jane has been experiencing with pests at her home.

"We care deeply about the health and safety of our tenants and want Jane and her family to feel safe and happy with their home."

He said he recently spoke to Jane and has contacted Salford City Council's pest control team on her behalf to arrange an urgent visit.

He added that he had arranged for a surveyor to assess potential access routes in her back garden.

"We are investing more resources into this issue and working with our local authority partners on this and are arranging regular pest control visits to take action in newly emerging problem areas."

Last autumn, the Housing Ombudsman Service said reports of serious failures or delays by social housing landlords had more than quadrupled in the previous year.

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