House swap sees woman move into home infested with fleas

Ellen Goodright, 48 exchanged council homes to a flat in Mile Cross only to find it was riddled with pests and rubbish

Ellen Goodright, 48, exchanged council homes for a flat in Mile Cross only to find it was riddled with pests and rubbish which she is struggling to shift. - Credit: Ellen Goodright

A woman who exchanged her "spotless" home for another council property is horrified after finding her new pad plagued with fleas and rats.

Ellen Goodright, 48, previously lived in Woodrow Place in Lionwood overlooking woodlands. 

However she fancied a change of scene and swapped her home for a flat in Half Mile Close. 

When Ellen move into her Mile Cross home she found lots of rubbish had been hidden by the previous tenants. 

When Ellen moved into her Mile Cross home she found lots of rubbish had been hidden in the garden - Credit: Ellen Goodright

Ellen said: “I've done a swap before so I left my previous home spotless.

"It had new carpets, a brand new fence and was decorated really nicely.” 

She moved to her new home in February with her dog and three cats - having had a brief look around the property.

Due to disabilities, Ellen has been unable to remove the rubbish herself. 

Due to disabilities, Ellen has been unable to remove the rubbish herself. - Credit: Ellen Goodright

Ellen's pets have allergies to fleas and so she treats them regularly for the mites.

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However she said: “About a week after I moved in I noticed that my pets kept having fleas on them - they were all over the house.

"I had to throw the sofa away because it was infested."

Ellen has removed many bags of rubbish from both inside and outside of her home but is struggling to get on top of it. 

Ellen has removed many bags of rubbish from both inside and outside of her home but is struggling to get on top of it. - Credit: Ellen Goodright

Norwich City Council said pest control issues are usually a tenant’s responsibility and need to be dealt with independently.  

Ellen continued: “It cost me a fortune to get rid of them but I think I am on top of them now. It’s made my chest so bad with all the sprays though.” 

The home is also littered with rubbish left by former tenants and because Ellen suffers from emphysema, fibromyalgia and arthritis she has struggled to move it.

She said: “I had to remove the carpet.

"I'm really struggling to get through the stuff left in the garden though and that's become infested with rats.

"I've done exchanges before and never had a problem."

“It’s just sad, it took me years to save for the fence and carpets I left behind in my previous property," she added.

Information provided by Norwich City Council says that mutual exchange is a right of all secure tenancies which allows people to swap properties.  

Unfortunately for Ellen this means anyone taking part in an exchange takes on their new property in its current condition and takes on all tenancy responsibilities at that property.