THICK black mould and damp has taken over their flat in a high rise block in Rugby, the baby’s cot has gone furry and they are concerned for their health and wellbeing.
This is the plight of Daniel Young, his pregnant partner Sinead Killen and ten-month-old son Liam who live in a ground floor flat in Biart Place, which has become infested with mould and damp.
Since the couple moved into the flat in November 2008 they have reported the problem seven times to Rugby Borough Council (RBC). A housing inspector has visited six times, giving them tips on how to manage the problem.
Mr Young said: “We have always followed his tips since the first visit. The mould hasn’t stopped growing and it’s a constant battle. This is unacceptable and I didn’t agree to have a sub-standard flat.”
The family are concerned for their health. Miss Killen and Liam both have problems breathing.
They have also recently discovered that Liam’s cot and their own bed is covered in thick green mould.
Mr Young said: We now have to sleep in the living room because we have no bed and the bedroom is infested with black and green mould.”
Cllr Leigh Hunt, portfolio holder for sustainable communities at RBC, said: “In nearly every case of mould on the inside of a property, the root cause is not the fabric of the building but the environment within it. While I understand that Mr Young and Miss Killeen have followed our advice on dealing with the problem, mould is very difficult to get rid of.
“Our experience shows us that the only way to solve the problem is by tackling the mould itself with bleach, keeping the property adequately heated and ventilated, and cleaning up any condensation straight away.”
Another couple experiencing similar problems are Steve and Adrianna Unsworth, who live in a council house in Leicester Road, Wolvey, with their two young children.
According to Mr Unsworth the mould and damp in his home has resulted in both his children being ill and he says he has been forced to send them abroad for medical treatment. He also suffered with depression last year as a result of the problems.
Cllr Hunt said: “We have carried out detailed tests on Mr Unsworth’s home but haven’t found any evidence of any damp at all.
“The exact cause and nature of the children’s illnesses is a mystery, but we would certainly act on any evidence which demonstrates that our property is a contributory factor.”