A RETIRED war veteran is "living in hell" after hearing rats scurrying in his loft during the night.

Frank Harding, 68, has raised concerns about persistent rat infestation in his home in Coppice Farm Road, Penn.

Mr Harding says he initially reported the issue to Red Kite Housing three years ago only to be told that it was not the responsibility of the housing provider.

Instead, he was connected to an extermination service that failed to fully tackle the problem.

Mr Harding said: "Approximately 3 years ago I heard rat activity in the loft which I reported.

"I was informed by a Red Kite advisor that it was not their responsibility but the council offered a service via SDK.

"This service was used and was, in fact, not fit for purpose."

A private extermination service, contracted and for which Mr Harding had footed the bill, had managed to control but not fully eliminate the rat problem.

This service advised on the installation of a drain blocker to prevent rats from accessing the property, a measure that was undertaken by Red Kite via Sandys.

However, despite these efforts and significant expenditure on Mr Harding's part, the rat infestation persisted.

The issue has escalated over the past three weeks, with increased noise disturbance from rat activities in the loft space causing distress to Mr Harding and his dog and disrupting their sleep.

He shared his frustrations: "I now hear rat activity including gnawing, every night lasting hours and hours.

"The noise is so bad, I can't sleep and my dog barks continuously, guarding the property. 

"Either way this is like living in hell. 

"I fail to see how a service that should eliminate pests, is actually encouraging them.

"I also don't understand why I had to pay previously when this service is provided by Red Kite."

Mr Harding's next door neighbour has reportedly been experiencing similar issues, adding further to his dismay.

As of recently, Red Kite Housing had brought in Bees Knees Pest Services to address the problem.

Despite this, there seems to be confusion on part of the housing association, as previous advice stating that it was not their responsibility to control pests contradicts their current approach.

"When a rat problem was reported again in recent weeks," Mr Harding claimed, "I was contacted by someone from Bees Knees Pest Services who said he was a contractor for Red Kite."

Red Kite has acknowledged the issue.

Head of Communications and Brand at Red Kite Community Housing Julie Gamble-Kempe admits their initial error and the subsequent distress caused to residents like Mr Harding.

Ms Gamble-Kempe said: "After looking into this I can see the advice the tenant was given originally was incorrect.

"We apologise for this error, and we’ll be contacting the tenant directly to discuss this further."

The housing association and their pest control contractors are said to be working towards resolving the persistent rat problem and ensuring the comfort of their tenants.