doc

RATS are causing havoc in a block of flats in Orpington, with the rodents spreading from the bin area into people's homes.

Residents of the Orpington High Street flats are concerned about the health of their children, and say housing association Town and Country has failed to address the problem for weeks, despite numerous pleas.

Twenty-five-year-old resident Jay Waterhouse said: "Every time you go in the bin area you see them running around, jumping out of the bins, running around the block into bushes and down drainpipes.

"Apparently they are also getting into the walls. Someone said they have been in their flat.

"I've got a three year old daughter, my neighbour also has a young child, and we don't want them touching things that rats have been around.

She added: "We phoned the housing association a few times and asked them to come and deal with it but they are not taking any responsibility for it.

"The problem is getting worse. People are too scared to go out there.

"They are huge. Big, brown, horrible things."

Coral Pearce, 44, first noticed the problem a few weeks ago and has also been unsuccessful in asking Town and Country to address the problem.

She said: "My flat overlooks the bin area where they are.

"Especially in the evening when it comes to dusk I see them scurrying around. I see as many as six at a time.

"They are all different sizes. Some of them are the size of a mouse, others are quite a bit bigger, the size of a guinea pig.

"I expect them (the housing assocation) to do something about it.

"I am concerned about the rats getting in the flats.

"My neighbour had two rats in her flat and she's on the second floor. Who knows how they got up there."

A spokesman from Town & Country said: "Last week we received a report of rubbish strewn in the bin area of the flats.

"We talked to residents about it and straightaway raised an order with our contractor for the area to be cleaned up.

"We are working with residents and the local authority to resolve the issue.

"We are commissioning a pest control company to carry out a survey to establish if there is an infestation and take action to deal with it."