A man living in an award-winning estate in Hackney said he can hear an infestation of rats in the walls of his flat.

Simon Mercer, who lives in the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) award-winning Kings Crescent Estate, said he first noticed the sound of what he believes are rats in March.

Hackney Council sent a pest control officer to his flat to assess the situation on May 16. Since then, he has also contracted a private pest control specialist.

While Simon said both confirmed that there were rats living in the walls of the estate, the council said there was “no evidence of rats above ground”.

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Because Simon and his four-year-old daughter occupy a shared-ownership flat with the council, he said it was difficult to work out who was responsible for treating the alleged infestation.

Simon said: “[The privately hired pest control officer] said they will come through the walls, it’s just a matter of when.

“So, that’s kind of a weird anxiety – to wait for that day.

“If you could hear them, it sounds like there are humans trapped in our walls.

“We don’t just live here passively, we pay these huge exorbitant service charge fees - and we are waiting for these rats to burst out of the walls.

“When the rats come into our flat, there is a four-year-old here.”

In 2018, the Kings Crecent Estate won two awards - the RIBA London Award and RIBA National Award.

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A Hackney Council spokesperson said: "We paid an initial visit to the Kings Crescent Estate on May 16, following complaints from leaseholders about rodents in people’s private gardens.

“During this visit, we found no evidence of rodents, but placed baits in cupboards next to the wall where residents told us they had seen rats - the only area where it was safe to do so.

"We visited the estate again on May 30 but no bait had been taken."

The spokesperson said that withi no evidence of rats above ground, the rodents could be getting into the walls directly from the sewers, but CCTV would be needed to check the drain/sewer covers to check for breaks.

They added: “All the drain covers are on private property and as such are not the council's responsibility."

The council added that another visit to the estate is planned for June 30.