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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Family's four year nightmare living next to rat-infested empty house

A FAMILY has spent four years tormented by rats living in a vermin-infested property next door.

Kelly Pearson, 27, said she and partner Richard Berry and children Summer, three, and Jaxon, one, had been kept awake by the sound of the animals, which lived in a deserted house adjacent to them in Holborn Hill, Millom.

The scraping of their feet in the wall cavity had often driven her to sleep on the sofa in the living room where she could not hear them, rather than in her attic bedroom.

Miss Pearson said: “It was just hearing them in the night, I couldn’t stand the noise, it was awful. It sounded like there were 20 of them living in the walls.”

The animals had entered the rubbish-filled house when the previous occupant left, she said.

She hoped the issue would now be resolved, as the property had been repossessed and poison laid down.

Workers spent Sunday afternoon removing bags of rubbish from the house and throwing them into a skip, said Mr Berry.

He said: “They have had to use a rake to rake the stuff out and there are layers of it and between the layers there are fag butts and all sorts.

“The guys in there now say they can still hear something moving. You can smell it when you put your head out of the door, it absolutely stinks.”

Pat Graham, Copeland Borough Council’s corporate director for people and places, said: “We are aware of the problems that have been caused by an abandoned house at Holborn Hill in Millom.

“We have worked hard to ensure the owners deal with the problem, although after initial success, we struggled when the owner became uncontactable.

“The house has now been repossessed, and we are working with the building society to clean up the mess at the property.

“This includes ongoing and continuous treatment for rats.

“We are visiting the property every two days to try and solve the problems.”

A spokesman from Leeds Building Society, which repossessed the property, said: “It is the responsibility of the home owner to maintain their property to an acceptable standard.

“However, on this occasion the society was made aware by the environmental health officer regarding the issues created by the condition of the property.

“We took immediate action, in line with environmental health advice, to contain and resolve the problem and minimise the impact on the community.

“We will continue to work with environmental health to clear the property in a safe and controlled manner, which will permanently resolve the issue, and improve the local environment.”

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