Mum living in rodent-infested house in constant fear her 4-year-old son ‘will eat mouse poo’

A single mum of two who claims she is living in a rodent-infested house in South London says she lives in constant fear of her 4-year-old autistic son ‘eating mouse poo’.

Tamekia Thompson, 37, told MyLondon she is desperate to move out of her West Croydon house, where 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, and now she spends every day cleaning up rodent poo.

READ MORE:Croydon Council plans to slash staff in bid to save cash after bankruptcy

Tamekia said her seven-year-old daughter is incredibly stressed and has started to “behave funny” in the house, and she is terrified her four-year-old autistic son who ‘will eat anything’ will ingest the droppings and get sick.

But Tamekia’s landlord claims he has implemented measures to address the mouse infestation.

Tamekia is constantly terrified her autistic son who ‘eats anything’ will pick up and eat the droppings covering her house

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.

The landlord added that the process of exterminating the mice would take longer than usual, as pest control had been unable to put poison down for the safety of Tamekia’s autistic son, and added, “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.

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“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.

“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.”

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Photos show dying mice caught in traps put down by Tamekia

Mr Mantey says pest control have already been to the property twice since he first employed them a month ago, but they have warned that if new holes keep forming they might have to be on a contract to keep coming “until it’s cleared up.”

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

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

The mum-of-two says 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 due to the length of the infestation it would be tricky to get rid of the mice, but claims there has been “no change” at all so far.

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One wall of the house is currently covered in damp

Tamekia also said the house also has severe issues with damp on one of the walls, and added: “Everything needs fixing in this house.”

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 said the house had a damp wall ‘around two years ago’, which he had someone do work on to get fixed, after which he claims Tamekia didn’t complain again until two weeks ago.

He said: “She told me to get it done, I got the wall done, and ever since that day she has not complained.”

Mr Mantey said if Tamekia had mentioned the wall to him sooner, he “would have taken action and got it done.”

“It’s only now that she’s complaining, so it’s only now for me to take action,” he added.

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Photos show mouse droppings covering the children’s clothes

Mr Mantey 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.

“There’s people coming to do the whole property,” said the landlord, who claims he has already organised individual jobs to be done on the property between this week and next, and added: “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, has said she feels increasingly “low” about the family’s living situation.

The former care worker originally moved into the house to support her sister, who had access to the property under the Shared Lives scheme through Croydon Council, and described her previous housing as “much better”. Her sister has now moved out.

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Tamekia is desperate to move out of the rodent-infested house

“Everything needs fixing in this house,” said Tamekia, who added, “My kids are scared, screaming, crying, they don’t want to sleep in the room,” said Tamekia, who added: “My daughter said to me ‘mummy I’m stressed’… and it really broke my heart.

“I can tell she’s frustrated.”

“[My son] will eat anything, you have to be watching him,” added Tamekia, who says that she has to watch her son at all times to stop him eating the mouse droppings.

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…”

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Photo shows tomatoes which have been chewed on by mice 24 hours after Tamekia bought them

Tamekia is currently on a housing waiting list with Croydon Council, the council have confirmed, but they say they have advised her to seek alternative accommodation due to a housing shortage.

She says she has sent the Council letters from her doctor, her child’s nursery, and a council psychiatrist, highlighting her depressive disorder and advising of the urgent need for her be moved out of the house due to the mental stress it is causing.

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.

The Council 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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