Doncaster tenant tells of problems with rats in her council house

A Doncaster resident says she is fed up of her home being overrun by rats - and claims the council have offered no help. Yvonne Walker, aged 57, has lived in her St Leger Homes managed council home on Lime Tree Avenue, Hyde Park, for almost 20 years. Six years ago, she noticed that she had some unwelcome guests - rats.

“At that time, I caught 39 rats under my floor boards. I put down my own rat traps to catch them.

“Then, they seemed to go away for a bit, but in the last 11 weeks they seem to have come back with a vengeance,”

she said. “It’s an issue that’s also affected my neighbours. They are in every part of the house, including in the cavity walls.

“In the last 11 weeks, I have caught 20 rats and another neighbour has caught 14. Some of the live rats even eat some of the dead ones.

It’s disgusting.” Yvonne says she has repeatedly called the authority to complain. But she claims she has received no help with getting rid of the pests.

She said: “We called the council in and they told us to double bag the rats once we’d caught them and put them in the bin.

“They said they were going to give us a bin specifically to put the rats in and then come and empty it every day, but they haven’t been to empty it.

I’ve had enough of having no help. When the rats came back I spoke to St Leger Homes who said they were going to remove all the back panels and floor boards to find the access point, but that hasn’t been done.

“Then they said they were going to send in the council’s pest control, but back-tracked and said they wouldn’t pay for it.

“I can’t afford to pay for pest control myself, but I shouldn’t have to, it’s a council owned house.” Despite her grim living situation, Yvonne is determined to stay put.

“This has been my home since 1997 and I shouldn’t have to move. The council should sort out the problem.”

A spokesman for St Leger Homes said they would continue to work with their partners to resolve the issue. “We are really sorry to hear about the issues our tenant is having and we are working very closely with our partners to resolve these issues.

“This included instigating a joint meeting between ourselves, Doncaster Council and Yorkshire Water to help us to pinpoint where the problem was coming from.

“We have carried out checks on all of the drains - both in our properties and in private properties - and so far found no problems relating to the drains in the vicinity.

“We have arranged for some fly-tipping in the vicinity of the property to be removed, and our estates teams will continue to work directly with the council’s Pest Control team to monitor and alleviate the problem.”

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