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A private tenant whose rental property is infested with mice was shocked when told by her landlord company to ‘eat them’.
The Coventry tenant, a mother of two, complained to her landlord about an infestation of mice in her property. However, far from being helpful, her landlord company sent harassing text messages telling her to ‘eat them instead’.
The tenant had put up with the mice problem for a year before reporting it to Orbit, her landlord company. But she later received shocking cryptic and anonymous text messages from an unknown number.
The messages said: ‘We won’t be helping with your mouse problem. Eat them instead. Orbit.’
‘Yum mouse sandwich…’
When the tenant tried to ring the number back it seemed to have been disconnected.
The tenant has reported the harassing text messages to West Midlands Police.
A spokesman for the force said: ‘Police are investigating reports of malicious communications after a woman received harassing text messages between Wednesday 30 October and Friday 1 November which caused her distress.’
Orbit said it did not ‘recognise them [the text messages] as communication from any of our employees’. They said they would be willing to investigate if a formal complaint was made.
When the tenant originally reported the mice problem to Orbit, she was told she needed to hire a private team to deal with the infestation. She did, and says the private team then warned her that she would need to get her landlord to fill in the holes left by the mice or they would be back.
She added: ‘I rang Orbit and didn’t hear anything from them about the maintenance work.’
However, Adam Reid, head of responsive repairs at Orbit, said: ‘Our contractors made appointments to visit to [the woman’s] property on four different occasions but have been unable to gain access.
‘We have therefore not been able to investigate this issue. Whilst the issue of pest control is usually the responsibility of the tenant, we are now assisting to resolve the problem.’
Regarding the message about eating mice, Paul Richard, group customer services director at Orbit, said: ‘Orbit has a values-led culture and our employees take great pride in their work. These statements are completely out of line with those values and we do not recognise them as communication from any of our employees.
‘We of course take allegations against any of our employees extremely seriously and will investigate fully should the woman make a formal complaint to us, which she hasn’t done to date.’