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These students had to move out of their uni house after finding rats in the toilet

The Flushed Away sequel no one was asking for


A house of seven university students have had to move out after finding rats in their toilet.

For two mornings in a row, they found rats who had become stuck and then drowned in the toilet’s water. They also saw a rat running across their kitchen.

20-year-old University of Kent student Elle Silvester is one of the seven students, moving into the house last September.

Warning: Graphic image ahead

Elle said: “One of our housemates woke up to find the ungodly sight of a rat in our shared girls’ toilet.

“The rat, still alive, couldn’t get out of the toilet bowl and drowned. We reported it and disposed of it in a plastic bag in the bin. The next morning, the same thing happened. Once again, it drowned and we updated the letting agents immediately.

“We thought we were being paranoid, but the same night we saw a rat run across our kitchen and hide behind our fridge.”

via SWNS

As well as rats, the students complained of other problems including mould, dripping taps and a broken washing machine.

The students moved out last month, after finding the rats in December.

They told their letting agent, Varsity Canterbury, which says it specialises in “exceptional quality student accommodation”.

The letting agent sent some traps, but the students weren’t able to catch any rats and continued to hear them running around the house.

“So many problems arose which made living an absolute headache”, Elle said.

via SWNS

“At first it was little problems like dripping taps, a broken washing machine and broken drawers. Then the light went in the boys’ bathroom with no windows, which meant they had to use the flashlights on their phones if they wanted to be able to see.

“Then we moved onto having mould. We’d clean it and it would come straight back no matter what we did. The property manager told us ‘mould is an issue caused by high humidity’. We’ve since found out that it was caused by a leak in the roof.”

The students contacted the letting agents in November, but say no one came to look at the extent of the mould. They were sent an email by the property manager which explained how to clean mould and the reasons it appears.

via SWNS

The students contacted the letting agents in November, but say no one came to look at the extent of the mould. They were sent an email by the property manager which explained how to clean mould and the reasons it appears.

via SWNS

“Ultimately, the whole ordeal has been stressful and uncomfortable. We couldn’t bear the rats or mould anymore”, Elle said. “It’s affected our studies and it’s affected our social and personal lives.”

The students moved out on February 11th after commissioning an independent health inspection. Checks on February 6th and 14th found fresh rodent droppings, mould and a leak in the roof.

A report by the inspector also said planning permission had not been sought to “configure” the property as a “seven-bedroom HMO” (house of multiple occupancy).

A spokesman for Canterbury City Council said: “We are concerned to hear about the difficulties that the residents of this property have been having. No complaints about its condition were made to us, so we were not aware of these issues until the report from the surveyor arrived in recent days. As a result of that report coming in, an inspection visit by our private sector housing team has been arranged for later this week.

“It is the responsibility of the property owner to seek permission if the use changes from a home to a house in multiple occupation. Such a permission has not been sought for this property and we’ll be investigating this now we have been made aware of it.”

A spokesperson for Varsity, the letting agency, said: “We sympathise with any tenants who encounter problems during their tenancy and we’ll always work quickly to address issues reported to us on behalf of the landlord.

“In this particular case, each time an issue has been reported, we’ve arranged for a relevant professional contractor to attend on the owners’ behalf – in some cases within hours of the report. It’s not always possible for issues to be resolved immediately and often they require further appointments and also action from the tenants.

“The tenants claim that the landlord doesn’t have the relevant permissions to let the property but the landlord claims otherwise and we understand he is currently in discussions with the council regarding this.” They added that the property has an HMO licence and when the council visited in September it raised “only a couple of minor and routine repair recommendations which were completed by the landlord”.

Have you had a uni accommodation crisis this year? Whether it’s in halls or with a private landlord – if you have a story you think we should know about, get in touch at izzy@thetab.com

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