Tenants’ survey crowns Redbridge as vermin capital of London

PUBLISHED: 18:30 15 December 2014

Rats feasting on litter. Picture: PA/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Rats feasting on litter. Picture: PA/Kirsty Wigglesworth

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Woes for housing tenants can be anything from plumbing troubles, to a lack of heating and hot water.

Pest hotspots

1. Redbridge - 12.3 per cent

2. Merton - 10.3 pc

3. Southwark - 9.6 pc

4. Tower Hamlets - 8.9 pc

5. Lambeth - 6.8 pc

Data from TenantRepair/Fixflo

But it is the chaos wreaked by some fluffy not-so-friends which is affecting renters in the borough.

Redbridge has been named the vermin capital of London, making up 12.3 per cent of tenants’ repair complaints about rats, mice and pests.

The study, by, collated information on renters’ repair requests to landlords from 32,850 tenant reports.

Cllr Muhammed Javed, Redbridge Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Private sector housing in Redbridge now makes up 24 per cent of properties, so you expect to get an amount of [needed] repairs.

“But what is important is how these are dealt with and not the number reported.”

In November, the Recorder revealed that Ursuline Academy had sought help from the council to tackle a rat problem around its site.

Mark Smith, the school’s health and safety co-ordinator, said there was a “steady trickle of visitors” and rats were encouraged by food waste from nearby shops.

Cllr Javed said: “It is difficult to say why there are problems of that nature. But there can be rats in neighbouring properties and if people’s gardens are not kept well, they might get an infestation.

“Landlords need to say clearly in tenancy agreements how the property needs to be maintained and tenants need to be responsible.”

A number of readers have previously spoken about rat sightings.

Danny O’Brien said in 2012 that when he was a street sweeper, a car park in Seven Kings was “smothered with rats every morning”.

And sisters Maisie and Rosie Folan, 13 and 11, told an area committee they were “scared of” rats on Christchurch Green, Wanstead.

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