You may have received a leaflet through the door from Microbee in the past couple of weeks stating that there is a problem with mice and rats at Leathermarket Court. Apparently there have been problems with rats in the bin houses and mice actually in the buildings. Well, we found that out for ourselves last week when a mouse was spotted in the kitchen of our flat (2nd floor halfway down the block).
Having had an assessment from Microbee it seems that both blocks have a problem but Gross Fine, the management agents, don't appear to want to do anything about it without some serious pressure being put on them.
As the flats are of such cheap build there is no complete barrier between the sink and the outer wall in the kitchen. We had mice entering from the pipes around the gas meter. They have gnawed through the concrete and plasterboard there.
As the flats are in two massive blocks if our flat has them be assured that yours could be next. Please have Microbee (tel: 020 8540 9968, contact Emily Murfitt) come around to visit to assess the situation. They can pressurise Gross Fine to carry out exterminations. Without this occurring the mice simply breed and return. Our landlord is willing to do some protective work in our flat, but there is little point if the mice are simply going to come back and gnaw through his handywork.
We live in a Georgian house in a terrace, which means easy access between properties for mice - if you can't get Gross Fine to act, just get a quarterly pest control visit (we can recommend if required) - it doesn't fix the problem for your neighbours, and isn't too expensive but at least you will be clear.
Hi Hellsbells. I'm also a resident of LM Court and on the residents' committee. I was the one who alerted Gross Fine to this latest outbreak, having sighted a mouse in my own flat. I m getting a guy to seal up the areas behind the sink, which as has been noted is the main entry point. Unfortunately, it is up to each flat owner to pay for this since it was (another!) failing in the original build. The guy is called Ryan, on 078337-12805 or
Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org. He hasn't done the work yet but seems very competent. If you want to talk further email me on email@example.com.
PS - Here is what our contact at Gross Fine said in an email he just sent out in response to mine:
"As you are aware the quality of the construction at Leathermarket is not exactly first rate. One of the problems, which particularly exacerbates the nuisance we experience from rodents, is that many holes have been left in the ducting between floors . Mice and rats can squeeze their way through very small holes (in the case of mice about the diameter of a pencil). At an estate level we could carry out a full survey of the estate and bin stores and ensure that any holes in the ducting etc are filled either with cement or a mixture of expanding foam and wire wool. (Rodents will gnaw straight through expanding foam on its' own).
Within your individual flats you should ensure that any holes from the common parts and ducting are blocked up. It appears that a particular problem in Leathermarket is behind the kitchen units where Bellway saved money by not finishing the wall with skirting so the backs of the units open out directly into wall cavity or ducting."
Hi there vicd. The nice lady from Microbee said the same to us about behind the kitchen units. I have alterted our landlord's representative and she should sort it out. Thanks for the heads up about Ryan. I'll let her know as she was wondering if anyone could come out and do something about it. We've got the wire wool and I have been plugging holes, but can't get the sealant out of the tube, so need a "little man" to sort that out.
It's right pain that Gross Fine won't talk to us directly because we are mere tenants of the owner who lives in Hong Kong. My flatmate has been there for 5 years and I've been there for 2 but we still have to alert three different bodies before we can get anything done. Still, can't afford to buy yet.
I know we are out of time now, but were Bellway ever sued for shoddy workmanship?
Hi hellsbells - we had a longrunning spat with Bellway over shoddy work on the roof which they eventually paid for. There were one or two other things too. But there's a limit to how much blood you can get out of a stone!! BTW, I'm thinking about renting out my flat (top floor, 2 beds, 1 bath) if you know anyone who might be interested - could vacate it very soon if necessary. Would also consider having just one lodger. - vic
Heh heh. The agents that take the rent but do not manage the flat suggested we borrow a friend's cat, but when asked whether this meant we had permission to have pets they backtracked! ATM I do not know anyone who needs a flat, vic, but will keep my ear to the ground.