Mum ‘living in rat-infested hell house’ for six years says her mental health is at risk

Alison Weir said she struggles to sleep because of the sound of the rats scurrying behind her walls and under her floorboards and compared their stench to that of a dead body

Rat droppings which Alison found in one of her cupboards
Rat droppings which Alison found in one of her cupboards

A mum says she has been living in hell for the last six years after rats infested her house and her landlord has failed to remove them.

Alison Weir, of Sandyhills in Glasgow, says her home was overrun by the rodents in July 2016 and claims that six years later her landlord, Shettleston Housing Association, has still not been able to fully fix the problem.

The mum-of-one likened the stench of the vermin to that of a dead body and said she struggles to sleep because of the sound of the rats scurrying behind her walls and under her floorboards.

Alison said her mental health is suffering after years of reporting the problem to her landlords who then told her it was fixed, only for the rats to return a few weeks later.

The 44-year-old told the Daily Record: “We’ve been living in absolute hell for almost six years. It’s an absolute disgrace and totally unfair.

“Since 2016 my house has been invaded by these rats. I’ve spent years lying in my bed underneath listening to them run around me or in my walls. The noise haunts me.

One of the many rats Alison has found in her house over the last six years



“I’m constantly picking up droppings and trying to mask the vile smell, which I can only compare to what I imagine a dead body would smell like.

“I can’t take anymore. I’ve been at breaking point so many times over the last few years because of it.

“My mental and physical health has suffered. I just want this to stop.

“We deserve for this to be fully resolved. I’m sick of the housing telling me it’s been fixed only for it to start happening again a few months later.”

Alison was first made aware of the rats by her dog Hugo who started to smell them behind the walls.

She said: “Hugo started to scratch at the walls and then began eating the beading. It was like he was desperately trying to get to something. It wasn’t until he ripped his leg open chasing a rat one night that I realized what was going on.”

Former barber Alison said she immediately made the housing association aware of what was going on, but ended up paying for pest control to inspect the property herself because she didn’t want to wait.

She said: “When the guy came out he told me right away that I had rats. He managed to catch one, but told me there was a good chance they would come back because that’s what rats do.

“He told me they were most likely coming from the burn at the back of my house.

“I told the housing this but they said the burn was not their responsibility and said they were happy the issue was resolved.

“Low and behold the rats were back a few months later. I always know when they’re back because of the vile smell and the sound they make running around.”

Alison said Shettleston Housing Association have attempted to fix the issue several times and even moved her out of her home to another property for six months whilst they inspected the home.

She added: “We were out off hour house for six months whilst they inspected the place.

“They told us they repaired and cleaned damage the rats had caused.

“As soon as I was back home I could tell the work wasn’t done to a good standard and knew instantly I would no doubt be back dealing with the same issue again soon enough.

“I had couple of months of everything fine but now I know they’re back. The sounds in my walls and pipes have started again.

“I have once again contacted the housing Association, but I’m still waiting for anything to be done about it.

“I honestly can’t deal with it anymore. I’m at the end of my tether.”

A Shettleston Housing Association spokesperson said: “The Association has actively addressed problems with rats that have arisen from time to time, within and around Ms Weir’s home, working closely with pest control specialists.

“Over the course of the past year we have completed extensive works to the property to minimize the likelihood of future rat infestation. We believe that we have done all that is physically possible to address the problem caused by rats entering the property from under the building or through small gaps in walls.We have also cleared parts of the garden and sought to make the boundary of the garden as secure as possible.

“In order to carry out these works we moved Ms Weir into alternative accommodation across the road. Ms Weir was offered the option of making that move permanent or to move elsewhere but chose to move back to her home in November.

“Our staff have continued to regularly liaise with Ms Weir. At her request we had our specialist contractor inspect the property again recently and no evidence of rat activity has been found but we will continue to monitor the situation.

“The houses at Gilmerton Street back onto Tollcross burn and the designated wildlife corridor along the burn provides ideal nesting for rats. Responsibility for maintaining this area lies with the Council and we have urged the Council on several occasions to clear some of the vegetation along the burn to help alleviate this problem.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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