The last thing you want is a large rat coming up your toilet when you go to the bathroom - but one family has been putting up with it for nine months.

Home-owner Margaret Woods, 59, has lived in her house in Sorrento Road, Sutton, for 27 years and has experienced rat problems in the past.

However things became really serious last October while she was on holiday.

Sutton Guardian:

Margaret and Keith

Mrs Woods, an office manager, received a panicked phone call from her daughter, who was pregnant at the time, telling her that a rat had escaped out of the toilet and into the bathroom until her son managed to get rid of it.

Since then a rat, which the family have named Roland, has been popping his head out most nights much to the horror of the Woods family.

Mrs Woods has contacted both Sutton Council and Thames Water but has become really frustrated with the lack of a solution and delays on the part of Thames Water.

Last Thursday she even managed to video Roland’s nightly appearance in the u-bend.

The rat rears its head (blink and you might miss it!)

Woods said: "Thursday morning at quarter-to-one I went to the loo and I could hear scratching - I jumped up and thought - this time I’m going to watch.

"I flushed the toilet straight away and went back into the toilet leaving the light on. It was rearing its ugly head.

"In March I gave [Thames Water] two weeks to sort it out. We kept hearing scratching and we’d put the lid down.

"We are petrified to go to the toilet. We flush the toilet and run the tap to be able to go to the toilet."

Mrs Woods explains her nine months of woe

A spokesperson for Thames Water apologised for delays in conducting a CCTV investigation of the sewage network - which was finally conducted last week.

They said: "This is unacceptable and we have let Mr and Mrs Woods down.

"The initial survey has not revealed the cause of the problem and so further investigations will take place on Wednesday 5.

"We are very sorry for the delay and must do better in future."