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Thursday, May 26, 2022

“Mould in my house has caused asthma in my daughter and the housing association has done nothing to fix it”

A tenant has complained that their housing association, Incommunities, has not fixed the mould in her property that has been “on and off” since 2016.

For Sajeeda Hussain and her family, damp and mould is part of their everyday life.

Ms Hussain and her family moved into the property in Cottingley in BD16 owned by the housing association, Incommunities, in 2016 and has been living with mould “on and off” in the three-bed house ever since.

Ms Hussain’s children are nine, four, and three. Her middle child has developed asthma due to living in a house with damp and mould, the tenant claims.

Sajeeda’s middle child, four, developed asthma due to the conditions.

Ms Hussain said: “We’ve had damp in the house since we moved in, in 2016. My daughter has developed asthma because of the damp and mould in the house. We’ve been talking to the doctors, and they say, ‘you need to go to the landlord’, well we have been, and they are not doing anything.

“They’ve come to paint the walls, but the damp is still there. Nothing gets done, every time we ring them, they say somebody is coming to look at the roof, but they are not doing anything about it.”

The mum claims that the property is riddled with damp, with it near window frames and covering walls in the bathroom, in the bedrooms and the downstairs living area.

She added: “The bathroom has always had damp. I ring them twice or three times a week. They send someone from the roofing stage to come out and observe but it is then back to stage one, again.

“It makes me feel angry that the housing association isn’t doing anything. I am always at the GP with her, she is always getting symptoms. It has put me down; it is not good for us. You feel depressed living in that house, every time you clean it, the mould is still there, and the kids are breathing it in.”

“We want something done, either for them to fix the problem or give us a different property.”

The mould is all over the house.

The family has not found the cause of the damp. The roofing team from Incommunities have attended the property but the mould is still accumulating.

Mould produces allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances, according to the NHS.

Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Moulds can also cause asthma attacks.

Among other things, a landlord is responsible for keeping a property safe and free from hazards. Damp and mould growth is one of 29 categories of housing hazards that the Housing Standards Team at Bradford Council covers.

The Standards Team try to help tenants and landlords sort out the issues wherever possible, but if the issue has not been sorted out informally, enforcement action might be taken.

Mould on the ceiling.

A spokesperson for Bradford Council’s Housing Standards Team said: “Landlords are legally responsible for carrying out repairs to ensure their properties are a safe and healthy environment. This means they are required to carry out any repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, as well as the electrics, heating, hot water and kitchens and bathroom facilities.

“If tenants need to report a repair, we recommend that they write to or email their landlord with a list of repairs and keep a copy of this correspondence. They should give landlords sufficient time to complete these repairs.

“If there is no response, they should send a second letter or email. But, if repairs are urgent or the landlord does not respond after the second letter, tenants can contact the Housing Standards Team on 01274 434520. We have powers under the Housing Act 2004 to take action to ensure landlords carry out essential repairs.”

The mould has been in the bathroom since the family moved into the property.

A representative at Incommunities, said: “Following a report of damp, visits were made by Incommunities to assess what was required. We agreed on the work needed to address the issue and have made several visits. We have offered to treat this with an alternative product which the customer did not want to progress with.

“A guttering repair was completed last month; we have further insulation work scheduled and colleagues are also attending the property on Wednesday, 5 January. We have recommended that the customer treats any mould patches with bleach and steps are taken to ensure the property is adequately ventilated and heated.

“Our customer services team are here to help all customers with queries on new or logged repairs. They can contact us directly on 0330 175 9540, enquiry@incommunities.co.uk and website Live Chat: www.incommunities.co.uk.”



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