Biblical plague of rats descends on terrified residents as they climb walls and chew through Christmas gifts

Swarm of rats

Biblical plague of rats descends on terrified residents as they CLIMB walls and chew through Christmas gifts

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 07/12/2023

- 16:41

Tenants are refusing to pay rent until the issue is sorted

A block of council flats has been invaded by a swarm of rats that have left families terrified after the vermin descended on the property around two years ago.

The rats have reportedly climbed walls, broken into cars and even gnawed through Christmas presents.

Residents living in Overland Mews apartment block, in Peterborough, say that the issues caused by the disease-carrying vermin are becoming extremely dangerous, as vehicles are being tampered with.

As a result, dozens of vexed renters are refusing to pay their rent until the issue is sorted.

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Emmy Dean, who lives on the same street as the apartment block, said: “It has been going on for two years, and it has been getting worse and worse.

“The rats are getting into cars, and chewing through seat belts and other things. Some got in my car and chewed through Christmas presents we had brought.

“Even the ones they didn’t chew through have had to be thrown away as they have rat urine on them.

“Losing the presents is financially crippling for us. We had hidden them there while our child was at home, and it was only one night.”

Dean said her partner’s car was damaged because of the vermin, and other residents have also had issues with rats chewing threw wires in their vehicles.

She warned: “It is possible it could cause an accident, if they chew through something, or one jumps out when someone is driving.”


Overland Mews apartment block

Residents living in Overland Mews apartment block ay that the issues caused by the rats are becoming dangerous

Google Street View

Another resident, Abbie Snart, said that she was unable to sleep after the rats got into her car and later invaded her bin area, labelling the influx of vermin an “infestation”.

Snart said: “We have small rats, medium rats and absolutely massive rats that are scary. They're making their burrows in the mud.

“If you look at the front of the properties, all around the bin area, there's mud patches and holes where they mate and have babies.”

The mother of two continued: “We've had five cars damaged so far on the road, and I've personally had a seat belt completely chewed off my child's car seat. I had to buy a new one.

“I went through a week or two of no sleep because my car alarm was going off every hour in the night when the rats were going in there.

“Every time I went to my car they'd be running around inside. It's an infestation.”

Residents said that they spoke to Hyde Housing, the housing association, however they claim it was to no avail.

According to Snart, a written reply from the group on December 1 said: “The pictures you sent do not show how the rats are getting into your vehicle and the damages do not appear to have been done by rodents.

RatThe rodents are able to chew through concrete to get into homesPA

“We will not be reimbursing you for the items you claimed to be damaged by pests and I do not uphold your complaint.”

Snart decided to withhold her rent until the rats were dealt with. She stated that she wants reimbursement for the items damaged, as well as compensation from the housing association.

Adrian Addo, Property Team Manager at Hyde Housing said in response: “I'd like to apologise to our customers at Overland Mews for the issues they're experiencing with rats - I know how distressing this can be.

“Please be assured that we're aware of the problem and have been working with Peterborough City Council's refuse department, our pest control contractor and our grounds maintenance team to address the issues.

“We have a full action plan in place. This includes removing hedges, as they're used as hiding places for rats and conducting regular treatments including treating and filling in potential rat holes.

“We've also written to residents to advise them to dispose of refuse responsibly.”

A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “We have previously been made aware of issues regarding overflowing bins in Overland Mews which was resolved after liaising with the housing association.

“An officer from our environmental health team will visit the area to reassess the situation and will work with the housing association to take any appropriate action.”

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