HOUSING officials thought there was something batty going on when they received a phone call about some unexpected tenants.
Residents in Rushton, near Tarporley, suspected there was something of the night about their new neighbours - when they spotted bats in the village.
Locals alerted the council, after the protected animals were seen hanging around at Weaver Vale Housing Trust's Airey Properties.
Roy Johns, property improvement and asset manager from the Trust, said: 'We had no idea about any bats living in our properties until we got the phone call from the council.
'We are about to undertake some major renovation work to the homes, so to find that they already had tenants in was a bit of a shock.
'The Trust has been informed the bats have roosted in three dwellings in Rushton so that they can raise their young, but has no idea how many there are or where they came from.
'An ecologist has been and surveyed the situation in all properties, but it may be that they will be hanging around for a bit longer.
'We have suspended work in Rushton for the moment and may just have to wait for them to move out.'
Weaver Vale Housing Trust is planning to carry out an extensive property makeover to 23 Airey Properties across Rushton, Allostock, Little Bud-worth and Manley.
The post-Second World War homes were inherited by Weaver Vale in July 2002, when they took over Vale Royal Borough Council's housing stock.
The properties are being completely transformed from top to bottom and inside and out,' said Roy.
'This means everything from new foundations, outer brickwork, improved insulation and roof repairs to new windows and doors, kitchen and bathroom suites.'
Work on the Airey Properties in Rushton is due to restart in September.