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Rat infestation leads to £10k bill for housing firm Town and Country

A mum who has lived in a rodent-infested flat with her two young children for nine years has taken her landlord to court and won.

Katherine Muhummed has killed scores of mice and rats since moving into her Gillingham home.

A rat found in Katherine Muhammed's living room in Gillingham
A rat found in Katherine Muhammed's living room in Gillingham

Fed up with its failure to tackle the problem, she took legal action against Town and Country Housing Group.

It will now have to fork out more than £10,000 after Deputy District Judge Roy Brown found there was evidence of infestation at the Arden Street properly.

Representatives from the Tunbridge Wells-based company failed to appear before Medway magistrates today, but the case went ahead in their absence.

Miss Muhummed, mum to daughter Chinaza, 10, and Fabhian, five, said: "It has impacted on me tremendously. My eldest has disabilities and learning and speech difficulties and puts things in her mouth. My five-year-old rolls on the floor."

Mum Karherine Muhummed in her rat and mice infested flat
Mum Karherine Muhummed in her rat and mice infested flat

The 30-year-old said after numerous complaints to Town and Country, a rodent infestation firm was called out to her two-bedroom ground floor flat in mid-May.

After four or five visits, workers left at the end of July but about two weeks later the problem returned.

The criminology graduate added: "We started to hear the noises, the chewing and finding rats' droppings."

Matthew Noonan, a legal pest control surveyor, inspected her home and produced a report outlining remedial measures.

Deputy District Judge Brown said he was satisfied under the Environment Protection Act there was a mouse and rat infestation.

Medway Magistrates' Court
Medway Magistrates' Court

He ordered the company to carry out a thorough investigation and treatment programme to eradicate the rodents.

The order must be carried out within 60 days of a set date.

The company was ordered to pay £5,509.52 costs, fined £2,500 and told to give Miss Muhummed £2,000 compensation within 28 days.

Speaking after the hearing, she said: "It's been horrible, so depressing.

"I would have moved out but have nowhere else to go. I have to clean and triple clean everything and have had to spend £900 after my carpet was chewed up. My kitchen needs ripping out and the floorboards taken up.

"I consider myself to have been a good tenant and they are fobbing me off and treating me like this. It's sick."

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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