A young mother has been left in distress after discovering a rat infestation in her maisonette council flat in Whitton.

Leane Bertinelli, 23, moved into the Conway Road flat earlier this year. In August, she could hear rats in her loft and then found some in her kitchen. 

The mother-of-one rang Richmond Housing Partnership as soon as she became aware of it. However, they she said she was told they were not able to send out pest control.

Miss Bertinelli said: “I was devastated with the response of the council. I had to kill the first rat by myself and my neighbour killed the second. My son is one and I can’t work as I am at home with him. 

“This means I can’t afford to call out pest control, so I had to take out a £300 loan. What made it worse is that my neighbours complained about rats to Richmond Housing Partnership and they sent out pest control. It’s extremely unfair.

"Its not only disgusting but my son can't crawl around the flat because I am scared he will get sick. I am scared to go into the kitchen, especially at night because I am scared to see a rat. I wouldn't have moved here if I had known it would be filled with rats."

While Miss Bertinelli hasn’t seen any rats in her kitchen she can hear them in her loft. She thinks that the reason these rats have come into the area is because the outdoor bins don’t have lids. 

In documents seen by the RTT, Richmond Housing Partnership said the reason there are no lids on the bins is because it is not a legal requirement and the estates service manager deemed it was not necessary. 

A spokesperson from Richmond Housing Partnership said: “We’re sorry for any distress that’s been caused due to these unusual circumstances. Due to the nature of this query, we’ve had to go out on more than one occasion to survey the home and the surrounding area. 

“On Monday, our Repairs Surveyor and Contractor went to the location and have arranged for one of our partners to carry out emergency works on Tuesday to make sure this issue doesn’t happen again. 

“In exceptional circumstances we cover pest control costs, and as this case falls into that category we will be paying for the work to be carried out. We’ll be keeping in touch with Ms Bertinelli to make sure her home is in good order.”