Biggleswade man slams Grand Union Housing as he claims his life is blighted by rat and ant problems
'I can't sleep for even one hour at night because there's noise in the loft'
A Biggleswade man claims that his life is being blighted by rats and ants, leaving him with sleepless nights and scared to open his doors and windows.
Hasan Ozturk, of Mead End in Biggleswade, told the Chronicle that he and four of his neighbours have rats in their lofts, claiming they pose a fire hazard as they could chew through electrical cables.
Hasan alleges that the problems started in November last year but claims that Grand Union Housing Group "doesn't care" about its tenants as the rats are still there nearly one year later.
However, the housing group stated that it has been working with pest control, environmental health and the local authority to "find a solution as quickly as possible."
Hasan said: "I've had panic attacks, anxiety and depression since this problem's happened. They are huge rats - they bit my neighbour's dog!
"I have had sleeping problems for over three to four months. I can't sleep for even one hour at night because there's noise in the loft."
He added: "These rats are dangerous. There are many electric cables in the loft. If rats chew them this will cause a fire and put our lives at risk."
Hasan told the Chronicle that Grand Union Housing Group visited in March to inspect the lofts and remove insulation, but that nothing has been done since despite complaints from residents.
He also claimed that he is suffering due to a problem with ants, which prevent him opening doors and windows.
Hasan added: "I'm asthmatic and I need fresh air, but I can't open my windows. I can't sit in my sitting room; if I open blinds then flying ants get inside. They've got a nest all around the front garden and inside wall."
Hasan claims that the ant issues have been reported, too, but that no action has been taken.
He concluded: "I've felt non valuable since I moved to Grand Union Housing Association in December 2018.
"Old and disabled people live here but they don't care".
Naomi Sweeting, director of customer experience at Grand Union Housing Group, said: "We’re sorry that Mr Ozturk feels he hasn’t had a good experience with Grand Union – that’s something we really don’t want.
"Obviously, nobody wants vermin in or around their home, which is why we’ve been working closely with pest control, environmental health, and Central Bedfordshire Council to find a solution to the problems at Mead End as quickly as possible.
"Within the affected homes, we have removed all loft insulation which had been contaminated by the rats and are working to find and seal any potential entry points. New loft insulation will be installed before winter, and we will of course carry out any other repairs that are necessary.
"Our team carried out inspections of the area and the properties themselves to look for other factors that may be attracting the rats, and to answer any questions the customers may have.
"Off the back of this we’ve put together a detailed action plan, including the installation of bait boxes and rat walls in drains, and a gel poison for the ants which will not affect Mr Ozturk’s asthma.
"We know all of this can be stressful, which is why our specialist teams are also working with all of the affected customers to ensure they have the support they need while all of this work is being done.
"We hope that by working together we’ll be able to rid them of this problem soon."