See rats and maggots infesting Farncombe family flat during ‘block-wide’ rodent problem

September 21, 2018

A block of flats in Farncombe has been infested with rats for more than a month while waiting for the landlord to take action.

One resident, a mother of two young sons who asked not to be named, said she had had to clean rat faeces from her floor every day and claims blood shed by fighting rats has attracted maggots as well.

Both her sons are under three years old and one suffers from pica, an eating disorder which causes him to eat substances like carpets and sponges, exposing him to an even greater risk of ingesting rat blood or faeces.

She said the rats have chewed through her property at the flat in Taliesin Heights, Frith Hill Road.

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According to the woman’s cousin, she called Waverley Borough Council’s environmental health department in early August 2018, but nobody came to the property.

The cousin said: “She’s phoned her council, she’s phoned her landlord and nothing is being done.

“It’s getting to the point where she’s just living in an infested house. It’s wrong to have kids in the property, it’s dangerous.”

The woman has had to clear up rat droppings every day and says the blood spilled by fighting rats has attracted maggots
(Image: UGC)

Lettings agent Ethical Lettings, which manages three flats in the block, said it had first been made aware of the infestation on August 13.

Ethical Lettings said: “We have received reports on rodents from three properties in the Taliesin Heights block where we are the legal tenant.

“We believe the rodent issue to be a block-wide problem and have been constantly chasing the freeholders of the building since it was reported to us to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible for all involved.”

The company added that it had contacted the freeholders on August 14 to inform them about the problem and then again on August 21 to advise them that “the rodent problem was block-wide and should be dealt with by the freeholder as trying to tackle the problem on a flat by flat basis would prove futile without wider action across the block”.

However, since receiving an acknowledgement from the freeholders, Taliesin Heights Property Management Company Ltd, on August 21, the problem has persisted.

A representative of the freeholders told SurreyLive on Thursday (September 20) the problem was “being dealt with by a number of people. The council and others are involved to try and find the right solution”.

Waverley Borough Council’s environmental health department also contacted Ethical Lettings on September 19, more than a month after residents had reported the infestation to the council, to ask for an update.

The resident who contacted SurreyLive said she had also heard nothing from the council since contacting them in early August until Tuesday morning (September 18).

A council spokesman said on Tuesday: “We spoke with the letting agent and understand that they have contacted the owner to engage a contractor to carry out treatment to eradicate a suspected rat infestation.

“Our private sector housing team is also investigating the complaint and has been in contact with the occupant to arrange a visit later this week to determine if any further action is necessary to achieve a suitable resolution.”

The woman confirmed that the council had called her on Tuesday morning to arrange a visit.

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