Rats in a basement car park have been making drivers’ lives a nightmare – with one resident saying the rodents have made her car undrivable.
Alanis Shakespeare, who lives in a flat at Fletton Quays, said there have been rats in the carpark since it opened in 2019. The rats problems – caused in part by the car park’s proximity to a nearby river – have been particularly bad for the 25-year-old who says the rodents have chewed through her car’s electrics and power steering.
She said the rats are attracted to bins kept in the basement car park, adding that she hears rats running around the car park whenever she comes down to her car. The car park’s management company have said they are aware of the issue with rodents have a pest control contract in place, reports Cambridgeshire Live.
Warning lights came on in Miss Shakespeare’s Mercedes A-Class vehicle when she started it earlier this month. Her car has been off the road now for two weeks.
“My car is now a sitting duck until my insurance can pick it up, which will cost me an excess fee – but now next year’s premium will go up,” she said. The driver added that her car will have to be decontaminated before mechanics can look at it to determine whether they can fix it. She is concerned more damage will be done while she waits to find out when her car will be picked up.
“At one point I lifted up my bonnet and I could just see loads of rat droppings,” Miss Shakespeare said. “It’s becoming a nightmare.”
Miss Shakespeare said other residents have been affected, with one spending £4,000 on repairs. Another has had their car in the garage for repairs for two weeks following issues caused by the rats.
She has spent at least £50 on products to repel the rats, including peppermint sprays, to no avail. “You’ll pull up in your space and you’ll see people that are spraying their spaces with pepper sprays and trying to put any repellent down for them,” she said.
Miss Shakespeare said residents have complained to management company Gateway Property Management Ltd about the rat problem. She said that the company tells residents to contact their insurance company.
Another resident Sara Ansari said the foyer and basement of the building smell “horrific” because of the rats. She said: “When you go in to the basement you can see the rats crawling about.
“The other morning, I was putting my bin out and the rat came and crawled next to my feet.” Ms Ansari said the rats are a “health and safety risk”.
A spokesperson said: “Gateway Property Management Ltd have been managing the property on behalf of the landlord since October 2019. Since the initial report to us in 2020 we have worked closely with the developer and the council addressing all areas highlighted.
“There is a pest control contract in place with regular attendance and this will remain on an ongoing basis. The location near a river does cause rodent issues combined with the works in the surrounding area however this is constantly being monitored.”