1:20pm Wednesday 6th February 2013
By Emma Innes
The housing association responsible for a "rat-infested" house has told the Harrow Times that the residents are responsible for addressing the problem.
This morning, the Harrow Times highlighted the plight of a mother-of-two who is “living in fear” because her house is crawling with the rodents.
In response to this complaint A2Dominion said it is up to tenants to deal with vermin.
In a statement, Dawn Wightman, London Area Director at A2Dominion, said: “We can confirm that we have been contacted by a resident at Hitchin Lane, Stanmore with reports of vermin at the property.
“Residents are responsible for arranging the clearance of vermin within their own property, and this is set out clearly in the tenancy agreement the resident signed with A2Dominion.
“To help the resident in this case, we arranged for an independent pest control agency to carry out an inspection within the property in January. Their report stated that no traces of vermin were found.”
She stressed the association had helped the family.
She added: “Despite this, we have arranged to send contractors out to the property to block up any holes in her house to help her prevent any problems with vermin in the future.
“We do understand that the resident wants to resolve this issue as quickly as possible, and as explained, we are working with her and providing assistance in order to do this.”
Jane Hussain, 44, and her children, Jamil, 14, and Yasmin, 22, are being terrorised by the rodents which have taken over their house in Hitchin Lane, Stanmore.
The problem has been ongoing for six weeks and in that time Ms Hussain has seen a rat jump out of her son’s school bag and one has run across her sleeping daughter’s face.
When the problem first arose, Yasmin was convinced that the house was haunted as she saw a tinsel wig, which was on her bedroom floor, moving and she heard creaking and scratching noises in the house.
The real source of the problem became apparent when she saw a large grey rat in the bathroom heading for a hole behind the toilet.
Ms Hussain said: “I have not had any sleep. I don’t know what to do any more. It is destroying me and it is shattering my nerves.
“We are living in fear of them now. I don’t eat or drink anything in the house because it makes me feel sick.
“I am petrified and it is ruining our lives.”
The problem has got so bad that Ms Hussain sold some of her belongings to pay for her family to stay in a hotel.
They went to the hotel on Thursday but yesterday the money ran out and they were forced to return home.
Ms Hussain has paid for private contractors to come and address the problem but the family's attempts have been unsuccessful as the rats are running wild throughout the terraced street.
Ms Hussain said: “It is awful. I have begged for help from social services.
“It is putting our health at risk. It is absolutely awful.”
The problem has become so severe that the family has been forced to replace many of their clothes and possessions for fear that they were contaminated with the rodents’ urine.
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