Harrow Council has promised to work with housing authorities to help tackle a potential rat infestation that has left people “living in fear”.

Jane Mokhnache, of Hitchin Lane, Stanmore, was shocked to discover rats burrowing in one of the bins near her home and said she and her neighbours are concerned that the problem will get worse.

She claims that they have been chewing through some of the homes’ gas boxes and that they have been spotted running around the communal area.

“I had a rat infestation in my house three-and-a-half years ago, but we’re scared that this could be even worse if it’s not stopped,” she said.

“We’re all going crazy here; we’re scared to death. There are children and babies living here and these rats can bite.

“We’re frightened to sit out at the front or at the back, and people won’t sit on the floor because they’ve seen the holes in the gas boxes.”

Ms Mokhnache explained that she has been putting out poison to alleviate the problem.

But she was disappointed that, in her view, nobody who looks after the properties in Hitchin Lane was taking responsibility.

She hoped to see Harrow Council collect the homes’ bins more regularly, and she criticised suggestions that those in charge were going to meet in “two weeks’ time” as the rats would “be breeding like mad” by then.

“I’m not asking to be rehoused, we just need this very serious situation resolved as soon as possible,” she added.

The council explained that it could not introduce weekly bin collections as its policy is to pick them up fortnightly.

It added that it “is working” with housing provider A2 Dominion to help tackle the issue.

A2 Dominion confirmed this, and said the managing agent, Rendall and Rittner, would also be involved.

It added that it is likely to send in pest controllers to manage the situation and put measures in place to prevent it happening again.