Rats force mum to abandon home
Jessica Bartlett and her two children are currently living with her mother in a one-bedroom flat after she felt they were no longer safe in her home on Moorland Road, Par
24th March 2021
By Natasha Swift
A Par mum has begged Cornwall Council to help after she was forced to leave her home due to rats.
Jessica Bartlett and her two children are currently living with her mother in a one-bedroom flat after she felt they were no longer safe in her home on Moorland Road.
The mum and children, aged seven and eight, are having to sleep on a sofa in her mother’s home and have been since late last year.
Jessica said she moved into her home in Par in 2017, but started to have problems with rats in the property in 2019.
The privately rented flat is at the top floor of the building and Jessica said that while pest control experts have visited on several occasions the rodents remain.
Jessica said that she had approached Cornwall Council for help and would like them to support her in saying that the property is uninhabitable.
She said: “This has made my children ill, I have reports from doctors saying that living in the property has made them ill. I have asked the council for help but they say that they consider the property safe and that they can’t come and assess it during the pandemic.
“They have said that we need to remain there until the end of April when they will be able to come and view it.”
Jessica said that as well as the rats the windows in the property do not close properly and she has water coming in whenever it rains.
She said she is also concerned about the state of the electrics in the flat and thinks they could be faulty.
But the main problem is the rats: “We can’t store any food in the cupboards because the rats get into it. None of us will go to the bathroom alone because we are worried about the rats.
“This has been going on for too long now, it is a nightmare. I really want to leave but if I do that then I can’t get any help as I would have made myself homeless.
“The rats are not small, they are bigger than a boot. I just think that environmental health should be coming out and helping me.
“I don’t think it is suitable for living in and that is why we have moved in with my mum, but it’s not good as we are sleeping on the sofa.”
Jessica told the Voice the rats were coming up through a hole in the garage next-door to her property.
She is also concerned that a skip filled with rubbish which has been dumped outside her home will attract more rats.
She said: “It’s disgusting. It absolutely stinks. It is making me ill. I have lost weight and people keep saying there is nothing they can do. I’m desperate for help.
“I cannot live here with my children, it’s not safe, but no one will help me. How can they say it is fine to live in when rats are everywhere.”
The desperate mum has been in contact with the MP for St Austell, Steve Double.
In a statement Cornwall Council said: “We are currently supporting the tenant and liaising with the landlord. As this is an active investigation we are unable to comment further at this stage.”