A mother-of-three whose home in Acton has been beset with rodents has voiced outrage at the condition in which it was let to her by a housing association.
Julie Abbott moved into her new home in Howe Way a couple of months ago, after eight months in temporary accommodation when she lost her home in Great Cornard because of personal circumstances.
But since arriving there with her three children, she said the home, which is owned by Flagship Housing, has been infested with mice and also suffers from problems such as mould, which she believes do not meet health and safety regulations.
Last week she said the mice issue had become so problematic, she slept in her car on Tuesday night.
After she reported the matter to Flagship Housing, Ms Abbott, who runs her own cleaning business, said she was not satisfied with the way it has been dealt with.
She said it “beggars belief” that the house was offered to them in a state she felt was not up to the grade.
“I’m very concerned as to how we were allowed to move here,” she said.
“To be fair, the house would be lovely. It’s in a really nice location. But the way it was given to me was atrocious.
“It should never have been offered in the first place. It’s in a state of disrepair.
“I went out and put traps down, but these aren’t really safe with small children around.”
Having acquired the home by applying through Babergh District Council’s Gateway to Homechoice after eight months in a one-bedroom flat, Ms Abbott said she just wanted to move her family into a permanent home.
However, because of the problems with the house, she said they could not properly move on.
“I was desparate, living in a one-bedroom flat with three kids,” she said.
“I didn’t have to take it, but I couldn’t have found a house in a nicer location. It’s so quiet and it’s a lovely place. But the house itself has been awful.
“I don’t want to make so much fuss, but I shouldn’t have to put up with this.
“I feel like I can’t move on. A lot of my furniture is still in storage.
“The most important thing is that somebody takes responsibility.”
Flagship Housing said it has been informed about the problem, and it was currently working to address it, with pest control experts attending the property last Wednesday, and it was taking measures to find a solution.
A spokesman said that according to pest control, the rodents may have originated from a neighbouring property owned by a private landlord, not Flagship, although the source of the issue was still being established.
Andrea Rutterford, head of housing at Flagship, said: “We are aware of Ms Abbott’s concerns and have been in regular contact with her to try to address them.
“On this occasion, the problem stems from a property we don’t own.
“We have therefore been working closely with the local environmental health team and external pest control experts to find a solution.
“Pest control will be attending the property to investigate further and resolve the problem.”