What Would You Do About This? Sorry, Long(5 Posts)
We have been living in our 2 bed rented flat now since DD was 1. We were moved here as we were deemed to be overcrowded when living with my parents.
When we moved in, we noticed that the place needed a bit of work doing to it. There were holes in some of the walls, the toilet was cracked and broken... they all seemed at the time like little things that could be rectified fairly easily. We contacted the maintenance people at the housing association and they came and repaired the toilet but we were told the damage to the walls was down to us to sort out.
After a couple of months, the flat began to smell stuffy. Very soon after that, damp patches became evident in all of the rooms. It is worth mentioning here that our flat is in a block and faces back to front, the kitchen and bathroom are at the rear, on internal walls, so we have no windows. We have three windows in the whole flat, one in the living room, and one each in the 2 bedrooms.
On discovery of the damp patches, we contacted the HA again and asked if they would come and assess with a view to making any necessary repairs. They sent their surveyor out to investigate. Almost three months later, after much hassling, we received a letter from an external company informing us that another surveyor from their company would be coming to investigate the damp. The surveyor came and put in a report suggesting that the flat was treated for damp with damp proofing attached to all the walls, including the internal kitchen wall, as by now, mould patches were coming through the backs of the kitchen cupboards.
After another three months, the work took place. The surveyor was present on the initial day and told the workman to damp proof the internal wall of the living room and the external walls in the living room and main bedroom. The bathroom wall, which is also an internal wall was also treated. Now because the small bedroom, DD's room did not have visible mould patches on, the surveyor told the workman to not bother damp proofing it. The kitchen was left untouched also because I had cleaned the mould from the inside of the cupboards and it was now not visible.
Once the work was complete, the HA paid for the rooms to be redecorated, but we had to choose from a very limited sample of colours. It was a very basic redecoration, and although we were grateful, I couldn't help feeling that it was a bit mean, given that our new furniture was riddled with damp and mould patches were growing on the back of everything, including our brand new leather sofa which we had saved for nearly a year for.
A few months later, we got up one morning and there was no electric at all in the flat. We called out the maintenance people again, who on investigation, discovered that because the flat was so damp, there was a build up of water in one of the electrical sockets in the kitchen. This had obviously knocked the electric supply out. The socket cover was removed and left like that. It is still like that now but has been covered up with the bread bin.
Anyway, the initial damp repairs took place in 2006. Now, DD's bedroom is black with mould on the external wall, it is stuffy, you cam feel the damp in the air. Her furniture is ruined, her clothes come out of the drawers damp, the carpet feels damp. The electrical socket in the kitchen is still exposed and the mould has returned in the kitchen. Added to that, our upstairs neighbour had a leak under her kitchen sink, which stands directly above our kitchen. The wall and ceiling are now rising in little bubbles, it is black and when I try to clean it it is literally taking the plaster from the walls.
The HA have been asked on numerous occasions to sort it out. I now have 2 DCs, DD has asthma which I am convinced is related to the damp and mould and DS is only 3mo and I am worried that his health will be affected too.
The questions I am asking really are:
1. Should I contact the HA and give them one more opportunity to come and rectify the situation, or should I just get in contact with environmental health and ask them to come and inspect the property?
2. Do you think that this would be grounds for a move? As it is, our agreement states only 3 people can live here, and now with DS, there are 4 of us. We have moved DD out of her room, she now shares a bed with DH and I and DS is in our room in a cot. Surely that could be considered over crowding and would be grounds for a move?
The mould although sorted in the treated rooms is now evident on the window seals and net curtains at the window.
I'm sorry this is so long, but I really don't know what else to do but felt in order to give you a clear picture, I needed to explain the whole story. If you got to the end, thank you so much!
Blimey, I think it's appalling that the HA are expecting you to live under these conditions. I think you should get onto your MP - a letter from them often puts a rocket up organisations that are treating ordinary people badly.
I always thought the MP thing would be a very last resort if all else failed, but maybe you are right and writing to them will hurry things along.
You are right that these conditions cause or exacerbate asthma. Don't give them a second chance to sort it. They have had long enough.
Report this to environmental health immediately and write to your MP.
I think that is what I am going to do first thing Monday. I also have an issue with the new boiler they have installed in my living room with all the exposed pipes and the DCs running around so I might get them to check that out too.
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