A YOUNG family claim Kirklees Council has made them live in damp, rat-infested houses.

Kelly and James Sykes are unhappy with their emergency accommodation.

The couple and their one-year-old daughter Tiah have moved three times this year.

James, 20, said: “We had to leave our privately-rented house in Lockwood because it had mice. We moved in with family but it was very overcrowded.”

The couple applied for help from the council’s Homelessness Unit, who found them a house on Hawthorn Avenue in Batley on January 31.

James, who works as a builder, said the house wasn’t safe for Tiah. He said: “There was a big wire sticking out of the wall and we found rat poison in a bottom drawer.”

On March 30 the council moved them to Dewhurst Road in Fartown.

James said there are serious damp problems at the house, and evidence of vermin. He said: “We found mouse or rat droppings.”

A council spokeswoman denied either house was substandard.

She said: “Mrs Sykes was visited at Hawthorn Avenue three times and did not complain about rat poison being left in a drawer or any other issue.

“The family was moved to Dewhurst Road at their request as they could not afford to travel to Huddersfield for work every day.

“No trace of rodents was found at the property on Dewhurst Road but we have arranged for pest control to visit the property this week.

“All our units are checked and cleaned before allocation to new tenants.”