Angry rats are picking fights with my children: Ilford mum’s plea to Redbridge Council for permanent home
PUBLISHED: 17:53 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:08 19 September 2018
A mother-of-five is pleading with Redbridge Council to find her a permanent home saying an “angry alpha rat” is picking fights with her children.
Nurse Rachel Noel, 36, who was placed in temporary accommodation in Green Lane, Ilford, by the council, said the infestation is the last in a long line of problems.
“My basement walls are broken and rats get access inside the property,” she said.
“Two days ago my older son closed his bedroom door and had to battle with the rat as it kept getting into his bed.
“The following night it came in my bedroom where I have a 30-day old baby.
“The rat wouldn’t move even when I tried to scare him away - it stood to challenge me until I picked up my shoe to hit it and it just ran behind the closet and kept coming out near the baby.”
The domestic abuse survivor, who is trying to rebuild her life for the sake of her children, claims the landlord of her temporary accommodation is fed up with her complaining and doesn’t want to put money into the repairs so is evicting her.
Rachel feels exhausted and empty after “years” of bad properties and just wants somewhere permanent, while she recovers from a fractured pelvis and looks after her children including a premature baby and three-year-old-twins.
“We put glue traps out and the rat got stuck and became angry,” she continued.
“He was so furious that he ate his own tail to escape.
“I had to sleep with the back doors and windows open in the hope it will go, but the rat is not willing to leave the property as yet.”
The mum, who is battling low moods, is at the end of her tether and said she has no family nearby to support her.
The only help, which she is thankful for, is from the local church, which offers her respite by babysitting.
As well as rats she said she also has to deal with condoms and needles thrown in her garden by drug users and sex workers, and mould.
“I have always worked as a nurse since coming to this country and pay bills,” she added.
“I feel so down about everything, I don’t know how much more strength I have got.”
A spokesman for managing estates Wentworth Estates said: “Due to a recent inspection at the property highlighting some improvements which are required to be carried out, Redbridge council have advised us to inform the client that they will be offered alternative accommodation in the borough like for like,” he said.
“Subsequently should the client fail to accept the alternative accommodation in the borough this will leave the landlord no option but to issue proceedings with the county court by applying for a possession order and thereafter executing the warrant.”
A council spokeswoman said it has supported the family on a number of occasions over the years, including providing temporary accommodation, help to find suitable properties to rent and providing a deposit bond.
“We have inspected the property and because of the problems with rat infestation the family will be moved into suitable accommodation as quickly as possible and the property handed back to the landlord,” he said.
“The family are on the housing register for a three-bed home and can bid for properties alongside everyone else in housing need who has applied to join the housing register to bid for social housing. The current average wait for three-bed social housing on the register is greater than her current waiting time.”
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, who helps Rachel with childcare said Redbridge Council has constantly ignored the plight of Rachael despite her vulnerability.
“The benefits system is designed to help those who find themselves in unavoidable hardship,” he said.
“Rachel is a professional nurse who has always taken pride in her work and loves her role - a difficult marriage is not something she could have foreseen.
“When working she is a significant tax-payer but when she needed help the state failed her.
“The conditions of her housing are abysmal by any marker. A situation exacerbated by her recently giving birth.
“The council’s failure to respond until a group like ours got involved evidences their perfunctory nature insouciance.”