'We've suffered with severe mouse infestation next door for 10 years'
- Credit: Nanthini Shan
A severe mice infestation in an abandoned house in Newbury Park has got so bad the rodents are chewing through neighbours' floorboards and plumbing.
In 2009 an elderly man who lived alone in Cranley Drive died and ever since then his house has been empty and has been overrun by mice.
The problem got so bad that in the summer of 2019 neighbours called the police when they heard noises from the house and saw the curtains had been ripped apart, thinking it was a burglary or drug users were squatting there.
When officers arrived they discovered the infestation of rodents.
Nanthini Shan, who lives next door with her three sons, has complained to the council a number of times over the years and feels nothing is being done about it.
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The mice have now crawled under her floorboards and have chewed their way through her home's plumbing.
So far she has spent almost £300 to fix the plumbing and around £500 on wasted food that the mice got into.
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Nanthini told the Recorder: "We start hearing the mice under our floorboards from around 5.30pm every day and they are keeping me and my children awake.
"The mice are dying under my floorboards and make my whole house smell of dead mice!"
In July she issued a formal complaint to the council's environmental health team and pest control who apologised and said they would investigate it and take action if need be but since then she hasn't heard anything.
The only noticeable action she's seen the council take has been to force the owner of the property to trim the overgrown back garden around four years ago.
A spokesperson for Redbridge Council said: "In July a council officer attempted to gain access to the property relating to the complaint, but was unsuccessful. Correspondence was then left at the site for the attention of the property owner to make them aware of suspected rodent activity so it could be addressed by them."
Nothing has been done since then and only after the Recorder contacted the council about this issue did it finally get in touch with the owner, who said the property is being sold.
The spokesperson added: "A council officer is making a joint visit with the current owner to investigate rodent activity at the site, and will also be providing an update on the findings to the original complainant.”