Oldham woman forced to sleep in container after rat infestation

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A young woman described how she ended up living in a shipping container for three months after her apartment was infested with rats.

Tia Henderson, 20, has spent the past five months couch surfing and had to sleep in a shipping container and her friends’ car after the rodents took over.

Tia, who was in foster care until she was 18, has spent the past two years living in a ground floor flat in Oldham with her dog and best friend Tiny.

The 20-year-old was perfectly happy in her flat, until she started hearing noises in her wall during the summer, which left her convinced she was “going crazy”.

Then one day, while sitting on the couch, TIa noticed two rodents wandering around her kitchen and immediately called pest control, who later informed her that there was probably a “large infestation”. of rodents.

Tia claims that when she contacted the council to find emergency accommodation, she was offered options that didn’t allow pets and she felt like there was nowhere to go .

Almost six months later, the issue remains unresolved, with Tia being classified as “intentionally homeless” because she did not accept the offer of temporary accommodation.

Tia Henderson, 20, was forced to live in a shipping container and surf on a couch for three months after her flat was infested with rats (Picture: MEN Media)

A woman described how she ended up living in a shipping container for three months after her apartment was infested with rats.  Tia Henderson, 20, has spent the past five months couch surfing and had to sleep in a shipping container and her friends' car after the rodents took over.  Tia, who was in foster care until she was 18, has lived in her housing association's downstairs apartment for two years and says she was happy there until July this year .  She lives in the one-bedroom apartment, run by Great Places Oldham, with her dog and best friend Tiny.  But, in the summer, the 20-year-old heard noises in her wall that left her convinced that she

Tia contacted pest control after seeing two rats scurrying across her floor, who informed her she likely had a ‘big infestation’ (Picture: MEN Media)

Running out of options, she was eventually forced to move into a shipping container at an animal center where she volunteers before sleeping in her friends’ car and couch surfing.

Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Tia said: ‘I was living independently on my property in Chadderton. I was happy there, I made memories, I had friends nearby and life was good. Until June 2022 when I heard scratching in the walls. I convinced myself that I was going crazy.

“One afternoon I was sitting watching TV in the living room with the dog when two baby rats caught my eye in the kitchen.

“They were playing confidently on my kitchen mat like I wasn’t within a foot of them.

‘I was mortified. I immediately felt itchy and horrible. My apartment was clean and tidy so I had no idea where they came from. Pest Control came out and dropped off their first batches of poison. When they came to check on him a week later, he was gone. I was told there must be a big infestation for it to be eaten so quickly.

In videos Tia shared with the Manchester Evening News, the rats can be seen running around her kitchen in July this year. During her return visits to the apartment, she took photos of a number of dead rats on the property.

“I was back homeless, sleeping in a friend’s car, and now couch surfing wherever I would have me and the dog,” she added.

‘In 2019, in the midst of the Covid pandemic, I was kicked out of foster care at 18 with my dog, who was a puppy at the time, and had to apply to be put on the registry housing like everyone else but was told time and time again that having a dog was a problem.

“I made a commitment to my dog ​​when I got him. A dog is for life. I don’t have a family, he’s my only family. I explained that he gave me saved my life and kept my mental health stable.

A woman described how she ended up living in a shipping container for three months after her apartment was infested with rats.  Tia Henderson, 20, has spent the past five months couch surfing and had to sleep in a shipping container and her friends' car after the rodents took over.  Tia, who was in foster care until she was 18, has lived in her housing association's downstairs apartment for two years and says she was happy there until July this year .  She lives in the one-bedroom apartment, run by Great Places Oldham, with her dog and best friend Tiny.  But, in the summer, the 20-year-old heard noises in her wall that left her convinced that she

Every time Tia returned home, she was greeted by dead rats strewn across her floor (Picture: MEN Media)

A woman described how she ended up living in a shipping container for three months after her apartment was infested with rats.  Tia Henderson, 20, has spent the past five months couch surfing and had to sleep in a shipping container and her friends' car after the rodents took over.  Tia, who was in foster care until she was 18, has lived in her housing association's downstairs apartment for two years and says she was happy there until July this year .  She lives in the one-bedroom apartment, run by Great Places Oldham, with her dog and best friend Tiny.  But, in the summer, the 20-year-old heard noises in her wall that left her convinced that she

Oldham Council has since promised to find temporary accommodation for Tia until the issue is resolved. (Credit: MEN Media)

A spokesman for Oldham Council said: ‘We are sorry to hear that one of our residents has faced an infestation on their property.

“We can confirm that this resident is currently living in temporary accommodation while the issue is resolved and some repairs are carried out. We have offered to pay for the temporary accommodation and when it is finished she can move back into her home.

“Additional investigations will also be carried out to rule out any other potential access points. The council and Great Places are supporting this resident to ensure she can return to her home as quickly as possible.

In a joint statement, housing association Great Places and maintenance contractors Wates Living Space said: ‘We are sorry for the problems Tia has had with her home and we are working with her to make repairs that will allow her to come back as soon as possible.

“We have also agreed to install new flooring, provide new appliances and provide replacement furniture so Tia can return home.”

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