Edinburgh man living in rat-infested 'bombsite' council flat in Dalry complains he is being 'treated like nothing'

A man living in a rat-infested Edinburgh City Council flat has complained that he is being treated “with utter contempt”.
Pest control professionals have noted an increase in the number of rats in the Edinburgh area.Pest control professionals have noted an increase in the number of rats in the Edinburgh area.
Pest control professionals have noted an increase in the number of rats in the Edinburgh area.

Andrew King, 42, has been living in a council-run property in Dalry for nearly three years. He said: “I’ve had nothing but trouble since I moved in”.

He described his flat as “a bombsite”, and complained that the council have not carried out all of the necessary repairs needed since his flat was flooded six weeks after he moved in.

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His living conditions worsened in September last year, when he noticed rats were living in the walls of the property.

Edinburgh is plagued by more than one million rats.Edinburgh is plagued by more than one million rats.
Edinburgh is plagued by more than one million rats.

While Edinburgh City Council have sent out pest control, the problem has persisted.

Mr King paid £600 to hire an outside pest control person, who told him that the poison put out by the council-hired contractor was the weakest strength available.

He can hear the rats crawling around in the walls all day and night.

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"I’ve not slept properly for about a year", he said. His GP has had to prescribe him sleeping pills to help him with his insomnia.

Mr King’s mental health has suffered as a result, and he added: "I’m so anxious all the time, it’s having an awful effect on my life.”

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The state of the flat is also having an impact on Mr King’s relationship with his son.

His 10-year-old son refuses to stay in the property, due to its condition. While this upsets Mr King greatly, he said: "I don’t blame him, it’s unlivable”.

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While repairs have been done to Mr King’s flat, he believes they have been done shoddily. Several rooms have been redecorated – however, he claims that plaster and wallpaper is already peeling off the walls.

His flat was recently inspected by the council, however, in a letter to him, they deemed further works to the flat as “not essential”.

Mr King has requested a new flat, however, Edinburgh City Council instead recommended that he try and swap flats with another person through House Exchange. However, he is not willing to do this.

"They want me to let another person move into this flat, and put the misery on them”, he said.

"They’re not interested in solving the problem at all.”

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After nearly three years of living in the flat, Mr King says he is “at his wits end”.

He continued: “I just keep getting passed from department to department, but nothing is being done.

"They’re treating me with utter contempt.”

He is calling on Edinburgh City Council to rehouse him somewhere liveable that’s suitable for his son to come and stay.

A Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of Mr King’s concerns and have been in regular communication with him over the problems raised, including providing him with advice on his housing options.

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"Earlier this year our pest control service carried out a full inspection and treatment of the property, and further visits have been scheduled.

“We previously carried out full redecoration of the bedroom and living room, including painting and plastering.

"Our service has been impacted by restrictions during covid which has affected timescales but we will keep Mr King informed of when the upgrading of his kitchen and bathroom will take place and work with him to ensure all other necessary repairs are carried out.”

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