Hilsea man bills Portsmouth City Council Â£1,090 for damage caused by ratÂ infestation
A MAN who fled to a hotel after an '˜eight to 10-inch' rat ran over his bed has slapped Portsmouth City Council with an invoice for more than Â£1,000.
Boyd Phipps faced the encounter as vermin wreaked havoc at his Hilsea home for almost two months.
But because of what he claims was completely inadequateÂ city council pest control, the 57-year-old said a trail of damageÂ remainedÂ '“Â and he has called on the authorityÂ to reimburse him for it.
But the city council says it gave him free pest control and won't be paying the invoice.
In a September 26Â invoiceÂ sent to Portsmouth City Council (PCC), the father-of-two demandedÂ Â£1,090 forÂ '˜poor service and lack of anything done to rectify the problem'.
'˜I think, touch wood,Â the problem has now been cured,' Mr Phipps said.Â
'˜ButÂ I looked back on all that has been doneÂ and I thought, no, I am not having this.'Â
PCCÂ pest controllers visitedÂ Mr Phipps' Horsea Road property four times, but the heating and plumbing worker claims theyÂ '˜put down poison in ridiculous places'.
As a result he believesÂ ratsÂ lingeredÂ and ruinedÂ hisÂ carpet, probably urinatedÂ on his bedding and chewed a big bag of shoesÂ in his wardrobe.Â
HeÂ asked for Â£435 forÂ those three incidents, alongsideÂ Â£455 he spent onÂ a week-longÂ stay at the Best Western Hotel inÂ SouthseaÂ afterÂ fleeingÂ because of the rats.Â
The final expense is Â£200 for a fortnight's rent he paid to stay at a flatÂ in nearby Northern ParadeÂ because he could not bear to be at home.Â
Mr Phipps, who claims the rats disappeared after a separate visit from Havant firm Comserv,Â said: '˜On reflection I could have gone to a hotelÂ cheaper and nearer, but at the time I chucked a few things in a bag and I thought 'I have got to get out'.
'˜That was about two hours after the rat ran across my bed.'Â
He added: '˜I did not ask for all this to happen, so why should I have to pay for it?'Â
Mr Phipps, who lives with his wife and daughter and is currently signed off work forÂ agoraphobia,Â back pain, panic attacks and reduced vision,Â said his invoice wasÂ '˜generous' to PCC.Â
But the council has hit back and refuses to pay a penny.Â
A PCC spokesperson said: '˜As a resident of a council property, Mr Phipps received a free pest control service.
'˜We visited on the day he alerted us to the problem, and made four more visits. We usually offer three. The treatment was successful.
'˜The case was very similar to many others we deal with, but unfortunately, dealing with rats does take time and a process has to be followed.
'˜We did not advise Mr Phipps it was necessary to move out of the property. We will not be paying the invoice.'