‘Distraught’ mum living in ‘rat-infested’ one-bed flat with two kids

News

A mum claims she is living in fear with her two children crammed into a one-bedroom flat infested with rats.

Siobhan Knight, 21, says she sees rodents running around her council home up to four times per day.

The mum hears the rats from inside her walls and is petrified to go into her kitchen alone where they began chewing through the ceiling, Bristol Live reports.

The apartment, in Brislington, only has one bedroom where Siobhan sleeps with her two sons Bailey, two, and Riley, six months.

The family are crammed into the one bedroom which contains a double bed, a single bed and a Moses basket for baby Riley.

Siobhan said: “I just think it’s disgusting how we have been left to live here, especially due to the rodent problem and the overcrowding.

“I started hearing them in the walls about a month ago.

“I don’t know how the rats have been getting in but I think it might be through a metal vent in the outside wall.

“This flat is so small we are all crammed into one bedroom with hardly any floor space which is dangerous for me and my children.”

Siobhan said the council have told her to deal with the problem herself and could not come out during lockdown.

She added: “Because of lockdown, the council said they couldn’t come out when I contacted them.

“Then they started chewing holes through the kitchen ceiling and in the bathroom to get in.

“I started seeing droppings in the kitchen about a week ago.

“It’s horrible, especially with two children. The council told me I had to deal with it myself.”

In more than two years, Siobhan says she has bid on around 300 two-bedroom properties on the council’s HomeChoice waiting list.

Meanwhile, she claims she has continued to press the council for a pest control visit and was told a team would visit the flat on January 6.

She added: “That still wasn’t good enough. I’ve been so petrified to go in the kitchen, I have to call the dog to come with me.

“I’ve seen a rat twice today, scurrying up through a hole in the kitchen ceiling.

“They keep getting into my cupboard with the plates.

“I have to re-wash everything before I use it and wipe down the side before I do anything. With two kids, it’s a nightmare.

“The hole in the kitchen is about three inches wide.”

The brave mum has managed to block the hole in her bathroom with steel wool but says she cannot reach the hole in her kitchen.

She added: “They’re definitely going to end up chewing through a pipe. There are holes by the gas pipes now.”

Bristol City Council has now told Siobhan it will deal with the issue before Christmas, on December 22.

Siobhan also raised the issue to Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees on December 8, insisting her children’s health and wellbeing comes first “no matter what.”

She added: “I have been bidding for over two years now to get a two-bedroom flat and it hasn’t got me anywhere.

“I am completely distraught and depressed about how I have been treated and I will be taking this further if I do not get a reply from yourself or someone on your behalf.

“My children’s health and wellbeing will come first no matter what.”

Siobhan is yet to receive a response from Mr Rees and continues to bid on properties, including communal laundry flats.

The council said on November 5 that it had assessed her as being in Band Two – the second highest priority group – on the waiting list. She was previously in the lower-priority Band Three.

Bristol City Council have been approached for comment.