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Newmarket mum claims complaints over dead rats rotting under the floorboards of her home were ignored





A Newmarket mother of fIve has hit at out at a local housing association claiming that her complaints about dead rats in her home have been ignored.

Grace Miller, who lives in Exning Road where she is a tenant of Flagship Housing, said that during the summer rats were spotted in residents' homes and gardens.

"Me and my oldest son were sitting watching television in the living room one night when a big rat ran straight across the floor," said Grace, who said her sofa and some of her children's toys were damaged by the vermin.

Mother of five Grace Miller, of Exning Road, has been experiencing problems with rats in her home, seen here with replacement floorboards for the ones which had to be lifted. Picture: Keith Heppell
Mother of five Grace Miller, of Exning Road, has been experiencing problems with rats in her home, seen here with replacement floorboards for the ones which had to be lifted. Picture: Keith Heppell

She said Flagship Housing sent pest controllers to put down traps outside properties but since that time there has been a strong smell 'like something dead' in her house.

"It's been there for months now. It makes our eyes water and we've all been ill," said Grace, who lives with her 14-year-old son, seven-year-old daughter and twin boys aged two.

After telephoning Flagship on a weekly basis, a housing officer and two colleagues finally visited her home on December 19.

The remains of a dead rat found under the floorboards at Grace Miller's home
The remains of a dead rat found under the floorboards at Grace Miller's home

"They stood in my house and all three of them said they could smell what I'd been complaining about for months and then when they went back to their office they apparently said it was a dirty nappy left on the floor that had caused it.

"There was no dirty nappy, I don't live like that, and this smell had been there for months."

As a last resort, Grace's father Peter took up floorboards in her living room and discovered two large rat corpses.

"One was badly decomposed and must have been there all the time and the other was still whole and had died more recently," said Grace. “I knew there was something causing the awful smell and now I can tell the housing people that I was telling the truth about it all the time.”

Marie-Claire Delbrouque, managing director of Flagship, said: “We are aware of the pest situation at Ms Miller's home, and completely understand the distress pests can cause. Our specialist contractor has made four visits since October 2023, and following their last visit in December, they reported that there were no signs of rodent activity.

“Our housing team has been assisting Ms. Miller with her request to move to an alternative home since October.

“During our visits, we didn't detect any odours of a decomposing rodent. We appreciate the smell of a decomposing rodent is not pleasant, however specialists generally don't recommend lifting floorboards to remove them. We will continue to support Ms Miller, guided by specialist advice to ensure the situation is resolved.”