St Albans Couple Remain In Temporary Flat Until Flea-Ridden Home Cleared

PUBLISHED: 07:10 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

A COUPLE who discovered the dream council home they were allocated was infested by fleas have been allowed to remain in temporary accommodation. County council road maintenance worker Mark Burgess and his partner Laura Murray were overjoyed to be given

A COUPLE who discovered the "dream" council home they were allocated was infested by fleas have been allowed to remain in temporary accommodation.

County council road maintenance worker Mark Burgess and his partner Laura Murray were overjoyed to be given a three-bedroom house in Radlett Road, Frogmore, St Albans, before Christmas.

They moved out of their two-bedroom flat in Colney Heath to their new home on December 12.

But after they and their baby and Laura's two children had been bitten several times by fleas, they were moved into a two-bedroom flat in Grosvenor Road, St Albans, with the proviso that they would have to vacate it by January 4.

They tried to go back to the Radlett Road house after it had been fumigated three times but discovered it was still alive with fleas.

Mark, 25, said: "I took a picture of flea traps left down by the pest control people which still contained 147 fleas even after the work had been done. We were told that the eggs may lie dormant in the wooden joists for months.

"With a 10-week-old baby we don't want to take any chances especially as Laura's children are both terrified of being bitten again."

Laura, 27, said: "I just can't face going back to that house. It was filthy when we moved in and I had to scrub it from top to bottom. The previous occupant had loads of different animals and it smelled disgusting. At one stage the fleas were all over my baby's face."

A spokesperson for St Albans council said: "The tenant and her family will be able to stay in temporary accommodation until we are advised by our pest control expert that the problem of fleas at the property in Radlett Road is resolved and they can return. We hope to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

"In respect of rent payments, the tenants will be expected to pay rent on one property but not both. If the tenants wish to transfer from Radlett Road then they will need to complete a transfer application in accordance with procedures.


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