“When there’s no light I am afraid to go out into the corridor because of the rats,” a resident of the building in the city’s Rue de Berne told news portal 20 minutes.
Power and water outages are common in this building constructed in 1919. A lack of storage space also means rubbish bins have to be stored in the entrance hall, which only attracts the rats more.
Bins cannot be placed out in the street by law.
Building managers Régie du Rhône say they are aware of the problem and that fumigation was carried out last week. But the age of the building and the earthen floors in the basement mean it is hard to control the rat plague.
The only solution is in the current case is total restoration of the building, a Régie du Rhône spokesperson admitted. The apartment block has no central heating and complete rewiring is required.
However, there is some hope. The building recently changed hands and the new owner is eyeing a major revamp which would cost hundreds of thousands of francs. The timing of the works would depend on how quickly the paperwork could be obtained, the building management company said.