Single mum ‘living in rodent-infested house fears autistic son will eat mice poo’

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Tamekia Thompson, 37, says she is desperate to move from her south London home, as her landlord claims he served her with an eviction notice for failing to pay rent for about seven months

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Mum living in constant fear in mouse-infested house

A single mum who claims to be living in a rodent-infested house says she lives in fear of her four-year-old autistic son eating mouse poo.

Tamekia Thompson, 37, says she is desperate to move from her south London home.

The mum-of-two claims rodents eat her food, and the floors and cupboards are strewn with thousands of droppings.

Tamekia, a private tenant who moved into the property in 2016 with her two young children, said the house became infested with mice two years ago, MyLondon reports.

She said her seven-year-old daughter is incredibly stressed and she is terrified her four-year-old autistic son who “will eat anything” will ingest the droppings and get sick.

Tamekia’s landlord claims he has put in measures to address the infestation.

A single mum-of-two claims her home is infested with rodents
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MyLondon / BPM Media)

Christian Mantey told MyLondon he has a contract with a pest control company, who have laid traps in the house and have agreed to visit every two weeks to dispose of dead mice and fill in holes.

He added that the process is taking longer than usual because pest control cannot put poison down over safety concerns with Tamekia’s son.

He also explained that “the tenant is aware of this”.

Mr Mantey said he has now issued a Section 8 eviction notice to Tamekia, who has not paid her rent for around seven months.

He said: “I’ve given [Tamekia] her Section 8 notice telling her to leave because she’s in arrears of £3,600.

“In terms of the rodent issue in the house, there’s been pest control that has come to the property, I think about a month ago while she was there.

“They set up all the traps and all the other equipment they needed in front of her.

This image appears to show a small nibble taken out of a tomato
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MyLondon / BPM Media)

Tamekia Thompson is desperate to move out of her house in South London
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MyLondon / BPM Media)

“She said they can’t put certain traps around because of the kids, so they adjusted the traps according to how she wanted it.

“They come every two weeks, I’ve got a contract with them that they will come every two or three weeks to pick up the dead mice or whatever they find, and to fill up the holes.”

He added: “I’m doing what I’ve got to do, the pest control is doing what they’ve got to do, you can’t eradicate these things straight away.”

Tamekia claims she is withholding the rent due to problems with the house, including the rodent infestation.

She said that she left her job in August to care for her son full time and is now dependent on Universal Credit from Croydon Council to pay her rent, which she says she hasn’t paid due to the mouse infestation.

Tamekia says she was told by a pest control worker that, because of the severity of the infection, it would be tricky to get rid of them.

Tamekia Thompson lives in a privately rented house West Croydon
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MyLondon / BPM Media)

Tamekia Thompson says the floors and cupboards are strewn with thousands of droppings
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Image:

MyLondon / BPM Media)

Tamekia also said the house also has severe issues with damp on one of the walls.

However, Mr Mantey claims Tamekia has never told him that her failure to pay rent is due to her problems with the house, or the mouse infestation.

Mr Mantey also claims he has had someone fix the damp in the house two years ago and Tamekia didn’t complain again until two weeks ago.

He said he has recently been contacted by Croydon Council about the house, who he said have given him 60 days to get ‘specific’ jobs done in the house, including fixing the damp and repairing the windows.

He said: “There are people coming to do the whole property. I’m sorting it.”

Speaking about the mouse infestation, he added: “Getting rid of any infestation takes whatever it’s going to take.”

Tamekia, who is currently on a housing waiting list with Croydon Council, moved into the house to support her sister, who had access to the property under the Shared Lives scheme through the council.

The former care worker said: “My kids are scared, screaming, crying, they don’t want to sleep in the room.

“My daughter said to me ‘mummy I’m stressed’… and it really broke my heart. I can tell she’s frustrated.”

She said: “[My son] will eat anything, you have to be watching him.”

Tamekia said her family gets sick a lot: “My kids they are vomiting and stuff like that… every minute we are catching colds… it’s just hard work for me to be cleaning [mouse] poo every day…”

The council confirmed Tamekia is on a housing waiting list but have advised her to seek alternative accommodation due to a housing shortage.

Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, also raised the issue with the council in September, but contacted Tamekia on November 22 to say he was yet to receive a response.

A Croydon Council spokesperson told MyLondon that they have advised Tamekia on her current private arrangement with her landlord.

They say they have advised her to seek alternative accommodation through the private rented or social housing sector, as there is a housing shortage.

A council spokesperson said: “Although this is not a council property, we have provided Ms Thompson with advice and support around her housing options in both the private rented sector and social housing.

“We have also been in contact with her landlord about repairs to his property.”

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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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