Leeds student trapped in rat-infested horror house riddled with droppings and urine
An international student in Leeds is facing weeks of living in a rat-infested horror house after she was unable to fly home before lockdown.
Tenants of the student let on Rider Road, Woodhouse, have reported a battle with the rodents since they moved into the house in July.
They were assured by pest control that the problem had been eradicated in December - however they soon found more evidence of rats.
Emily Creaser, a student at Leeds Beckett University, says the house is now riddled with rat droppings and faeces and the rodents have chewed through some of their belongings.
She has now moved back to her parents' home but her housemate, an international student, was unable to fly home before lockdown was enforced.
Emily said: "With Covid-19 things have got even worse, we moved back home before lockdown and left the house with all our stuff in.
"One of our housemates is an international student and has nowhere else to live, she is now living in the house with rat faeces still in one of the beds and wee in the carpets.
"It's absolutely disgusting.
"It has cost us money to replace everything that is damaged and has left us feeling ill. It's had an impact on our mental health and made us feel stressed and helpless."
Letting agents LetLeeds said pest control were called to the house within a week of the current infestation being reported, but the contractor felt they had done everything they could to try and get rid of the rodents.
A second contractor has now been called to investigate the issue.
Emily, a second-year student, added: "We feel very hopeless and in these stressful times this is the last thing we need.
"Students are still at risk of getting taken advantage of in these times - this is not on. We are humans just as much as anyone else."
LetLeeds managing director, Luke Gidney, said he sympathised with the tenants for the 'horrid situation' and was doing everything in his power to eradicate the rat infestation.
The tenants have now had their rent refunded and the landlord has paid for a deep clean of the property.
But Luke points to a wider crisis in student areas such as Woodhouse and Hyde Park where rat populations are 'exploding'.
He said: "We empathise with the tenants wholeheartedly as this is a horrible situation. The landlord is working with us and doing everything they can to resolve these issues.
"The tenants went away from the property for a number of weeks and upon returning to the property found the rat infestation.
"The tenants notified us and within one week we had arranged the pest control officer to attend.
"We are liaising daily with the tenants and doing everything within our power to resolve the issue.
"The landlord has acted to resolve the problems and is determined to do everything advised by the pest control contractors to eradicate all signs of rats.
"The landlord has agreed to refund the rent as well as paying for a deep clean of the property and the cleaners have already been instructed."
A pest controller has told the Yorkshire Evening Post that a rat epidemic is sweeping the city, with populations exploding this year like never before.
Luke has called for a 'rat levy' and collective action between landlords, letting agents and Leeds Council to tackle rat infestation in student areas.
He added: "There is a wider issue across Leeds and I have contacted other local property agents to create some joined-up thinking and we are liaising with Leeds City Council to help reduce.
"There is a serious rat issue in Hyde Park and I have been calling for some joined-up thinking to help reduce the problem.
"We often see rats brazenly walking around the street in Hyde Park and surrounding areas.
"This is a horrid situation for everyone, and more so for the tenants. I sympathise with them and we want to do everything in our power to help."
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