A FAMILY have been driven out of their home by a plague of U-bend swimming monster rats.
John Rising, 36, said he and partner Joanne had no option but to quit the rented home in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, with their three sons.
He said they were terrified that the rodents, some nearly 2ft long, would bite them and spread a killer disease with their germs and urine.
John has killed several rats but says more infest the mid-terrace property rented from Cheltenham Borough Homes.
He said: "It started about two months ago and it's got so bad that we have moved out because the rats were in the kitchen.
"About a month ago my 14-year-old son was in the bathroom and saw one actually in the toilet.
"He called me and I rushed to have a look. I could see the rat's tail and bum swimming back out of toilet, back up the U-bend."
RATS RUNNING THE HOUSE
The family has abandoned the house on Folly Lane and are living temporarily with John's father in Woodmancote, near Bishop's Cleeve.
He added: "Every day there's another one caught in a trap.
"We are effectively homeless due to rats which have forced us out."
He said he had 'no issue' with Cheltenham Borough Council pest controllers who have visited the property, but he is 'not happy' with Cheltenham Borough Homes.
The rat catchers had made recommendations, aimed at resolving the problem on a long-term basis, but Cheltenham Borough Homes had opted for what he regarded to be a short-term solution.
He said they opted to block up holes behind cupboards in the kitchen rather than dig up two back gardens in the area to find where the rats are coming from.
John feels Cheltenham Borough Homes is guilty of 'dragging its heels' and should have offered the family somewhere else to live until the rats had been exterminated.
It's a health risk. Rats carry so many diseases. I can't have my children in there.
He added: "There has been no offer of alternative accommodation. They just expect us to stay in that house.
"It's a health risk. Rats carry so many diseases. I can't have my children in there."
Paul Stephenson, Cheltenham Borough Homes' chief executive, said "We were first made aware of the problem on April 9th by a pest controller from Cheltenham Borough Council who visited the property but wasn't able to put bait down due to a lack of loft access.
"We visited on April 11th to see how we could arrange access and to organise a CCTV survey of the drains to see where the rats were entering.
"The tenant told us that he had already removed his family from the property when we visited on April 11th.
"However we have discussed options with him under our Decant and Emergency Transfer Procedure while the work takes place."
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