Man’s 17 year hell living with mouse infestation in Harlesden home

PUBLISHED: 12:14 08 May 2019

Noel Blackman has been living with a rodent infestation for 17 years. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Noel Blackman has been living with a rodent infestation for 17 years. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

A disabled lecturer who has been living with a mice infestation for 17 years in his Harlesden home is pleading with his housing association to move him.

Noel Blackman's "nerves are shattered" from mice "causing a racket" in his flat in Shelley Road.

The 64-year-old claims the flats managed by Hyde Housing are built from plasterboard which the rodents nibble through from one flat to another.

"They are hiding behind the fridge, behind the washing machine," he said. They were living in the oven and before that under the sink.

"They come out at night, you hear them making a real racket and in the morning there are droppings on the kitchen skirting boards, all over the place. It's very stressful."

Pest control routinely come and lay traps he says but the mice simply "go away and breed and return".

"They seal one hole in the wall and the next day there are four new holes," he said.

"I've no idea why it's like this. The estate was built on a garbage dump, that's what I was told. The whole building has been infested since I moved in 17 years ago.

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"The mice travel through the crevices of the building from one flat to the other. The tenants are fed up with this situation.

"I want to be gone from here. I don't want to live here anymore."

In 2017 his oven was condemned after rodents chewed through the wires so now he must use a microwave.

Rodents have feasted on his clothes and, he claims, are contributing to deteriorating health conditions.

The former martial arts instructor had three operations on his knee caused by a "skin disease."

"The mice have caused me to have urine infections and I have had numerous kidney scans during the last few years. I am constantly running to the toilet.

"Just a flicker and I jump. At night I carry a stick and am constantly tapping bookcases and cupboards and scanning the floor. It's hell."

He added: "The entire building needs to be either fully sealed or it should be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch in concrete. The housing authority is spending more money on pest control persons than it would have cost to build the place properly in the first instance."

Mark Batchelor, director of Hyde Group Property Services, said: "Unfortunately we cannot comment on this case because it is subject to legal proceedings. However, carrying out repairs and maintenance and ensuring that our customers are safe in their homes is Hyde's priority."

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