Former rat-infested care home up for sale

The Firs at Old Forewood Lane
The Firs at Old Forewood Lane

A FORMER care home, which saw its owners up in court following a rat infestation in the building, is up for sale.

The Firs, in Old Forewood Lane, Crowhurst, which is currently empty, is set to go under the hammer at an auction in Brighton next month.

Environmental Health officers from Rother District Council inspected the care home in November 2010 and discovered evidence of rats throughout the property – including copious amounts of droppings, bite marks and rat holes.

The kitchen was closed under an emergency order for ten days while cleaning was carried out and residents moved to unaffected rooms.

A number of bedrooms at The Firs, which housed elderly dementia sufferers, also showed evidence of rat activity - including droppings, rat holes in the skirting boards and chewed carpets.

Rat droppings were found in the laundry and in the adjoining cupboard.

The council took the home’s owners, Miyano Care Services Ltd, to court in May last year.

Magistrates fined the company a total of £24,080 and company director and care home chef Dan Dethridge was personally fined £4,015.

The Firs has since closed for business.

The Firs, which was previously registered for 30 dementia patients, is among 27 lots being sold by Clive Emson, the regional land and property auctioneers.

With 18 single rooms and six twins, the property on an acre of land, has a freehold guide price of £450-480,000.

Auctioneer James Emson said: “We have been instructed by the joint administrators of the property, which is considered ideal for reuse as a care home or a bed-and-breakfast or as one or two private residences, subject to consents.”

The auction will start at 11am at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Monday June 11.