A WOMAN has told of her living hell after her home became infested with rats.

The 70-year-old resident, who lives in Devereux Road, Southend, said the issue has now been ongoing for months and believes her neighbour’s property is in such a horrendous state it is drawing vermin to the area.

She told how the rats have now made their way into her kitchen and bedroom, as well as her garden.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It has caused me absolute hell.

“I have two cats, and often it’s the case cats will bring things to you, even after you’ve gone to bed.

“I’m used to them bringing the occasional dead rat or other small animal, but now they are bringing me more and more rats in alive.

“I’m being woken up by rats running around and I have to chase them out of my house at 1.30am in the morning. I can’t get to sleep at night over the worry.

“My cats now need to be kept inside before I sleep which can be difficult to do.

“They often appear in the garden, coming over the wall I share with my neighbour.

“But they keep coming into my home and causing me and my tenants so much stress.”

The woman said she has suffered many sleepless nights and the situation has left her “unbelievably stressed” having to pay for the damage the rats are causing.

She added: “It just keeps going around and around my head every night about how on earth I can deal with this.

“My tenants have been very understanding but it’s getting to the stage where they can hear the scratchings in the walls at night and it’s not going away. It’s a horrendous situation, and I don’t know how much more of it I can bare.

“We shouldn’t have to put up with this, they need to be dealt with properly.”

The issue has been reported to Southend Council who are taking legal action against the next door neighbour.

Ian Gilbert, leader of the council with a responsibility for housing, said: “We have been made aware of complaints.

“The council’s housing team have long been in discussions with the owner of the neighbouring property, with court proceedings taking place as part of these discussions. These proceedings are ongoing and at this stage it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”