A mum has spoken of her ‘constant tears’ after she and her four children where evicted and placed in a tiny ‘hellhole’ flat crawling with rats.
Lucie Taylor-Theis and her family were put into the cramped apartment by Ealing council after being forced out of their former home when the landlord wanted the property back last year.
The 33-year-old now says she feels stuck and helpless in a rodent-infested home, having spotted the vermin scuttling around in her son’s bedroom, the Mirror reports.
“You can hear them all in the walls,” she said.
The family have to sleep on the couch, leaving no room for their children, aged nine, three, two and 10 months, to sit.
The property in Ealing, London is also up several flights of stairs, which Lucie says has also caused her to injure her shoulder carrying the pram up and down every day.
Lucie also suffers from several mental health conditions that have been exacerbated by her current living situation.
She said: “I constantly am crying in front of my children. My children are always telling me not to cry.
“My little girl, she comes and wipes my tears because she constantly sees me crying all the time. It’s so hard.”
Although the temporary accommodation was provided by Ealing council, it belongs to the housing provider Middlesex Group.
Lucie claims that pest control services visited her flat on Thursday to block some holes and eradicate the problem, but she is unconvinced it has been solved.
To make matters worse, Lucie says she has been moved far away from her son’s school and the relatives she relies on for support.
Due to her anxiety, she is unable to travel by public transport and instead has to walk for more than an hour to reach her son’s school.
She claims her local authority were aware of these mental health considerations.
“[Ealing Council] knew all of this,” she said.
“I needed to be by my family for support. I’m struggling with getting my son to school and being away from my mum. This situation has affected my mental health in every way.
“I suffer with severe anxiety. I can’t tell you the last time I actually slept the whole night. I’ve been having to sleep on the sofa with my babies.
“I can’t put my son in a cot, because where his room is at the back, that’s mainly where the mice have been getting in.”
In May last year, Lucie was admitted to a mental health hospital after her previous living situation became too much for her.
She is concerned this may happen again if she is not moved somewhere more suitable.
“Things got so on top of me where I was living before, so much that I ended up in hospital,” she said.
Lucie’s mum Mandy Forrestal also revealed the toll this has taken on her daughter’s mental health.
She said: “My daughter has had a terrible time, a really bad time.
“Ealing Council has had numerous letters from all the professionals, psychiatrist, her nurse. You name it, they’ve had it.”
She also described Lucie’s flat as “really, really tiny” and said living there has been like living in a “hellhole”.
Ealing Council and Middlesex Group have been contacted for comment.
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.