Shocking video shows rat in washing machine of Sunderland home as landlord calls on council to tackle area's rodent problem
A Sunderland man has shared a shocking video capturing the moment he discovered a rat inside his washing machine.
The resident, who did not want to be named, had moved into a rental property on Roker Avenue in the city just before Christmas last year and quickly realised that the area had a rat problem.
The tenant says he has seen dozens of rats brazenly scurrying around among the rubbish left in the back lane behind his home.
He said: "The rats have a warren at the top of the street and you can see them jumping in and out if I stand at the back gate at night.
"I have seen numerous squashed rats on the road and rat droppings in my back garden are unreal – they are the size of penny pieces.”
The resident’s landlord, Trevor Kilbey, has done everything he can to secure the property using traps and poison, but the area-wide issue meant that a rat still managed to get inside.
The tenant said: "I put my hand in the washing machine to pull the clothes out and out comes a dead rat on the floor. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.
"The landlord is putting traps down and boxes, he has blocked my back gate up and all sorts but I think the whole area needs sorting out before anything can be done domestically.”
His landlord, Trevor, owns a number of properties on Roker Avenue and says he has spent years trying to tackle the problem of the rodents on the street and the nearby Church Street North.
He feels it has been getting worse over the years and says he is losing tenants because of the rats.
He said: “We lost a tenant at Christmas. He went out to put rubbish in the bins at the back and a rat ran into the house – when he came in there was a rat in his kitchen.
"He text me saying: ‘I’m leaving, I can’t have this.’”
Trevor says he has reported the rats to Sunderland Council numerous times and wants the authority to take more action to tackle the rats.
He said: “It's frustrating. We have done as much as we can do. We need help from the council.
"I think it has just got worse and worse since they have gone to two-weekly rubbish collections.”
A Sunderland City Council spokeswoman said: “It is the responsibility of private landlords to ensure their properties are secure and the responsibility of residents and businesses to ensure that their own rubbish is disposed of properly.
“Tenants or landlords who have continuing problems with rodents inside privately rented properties can contact a private operator or request assistance from Environmental Health, who are able to resolve housing disrepair issues including pest issues.
“The council reminds everyone that they can help to keep rodent numbers down by disposing of their litter and waste appropriately and can report any rat sightings on open land at https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/17566/Report-a-rat-sighting.”
The reports come after a series of rat sightings in the city’s park last summer. An increase in the amount of bird feed left on the ground had been blamed for the issue, and Sunderland Council is now consulting on plans to fine people who feed birds in public areas in the city.