After escaping from her abusive partner, the 29-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, was left homeless and found herself living in a relative’s living room with her four children.
She took the first property she was offered by Challenge House letting agency, and set about cleaning and improving it, only to find damp and mould appearing within weeks.
“I have contacted Challenge House several times – they replaced a tile and a skirting board, but it is still a mess. I am at the point where it is really getting me down,” she said, adding that she has also reported rats in the loft and mould covering wardrobes containing her baby’s clothes, but was simply told to move her furniture away from the walls.
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She is dreading bringing up a newborn in ‘unacceptable’ conditions but says Challenge House told her that she would lose her £542 bond and would be chased for the remaining months of her tenancy agreement if she left their property.
The woman added: “I am getting nowhere and I am weeks away from giving birth.”
When approached for comment, the landlord J.E.Wright (HHS) Ltd. said the issue was with the property next door, which is in ‘disrepair’ and causing damp on the shared wall.
“We have been working with the Local Authority who have contacted the owner of the adjacent house which is causing problems. They have told us that the owners are completing the necessary repairs and providing a full report to the Local Authority.
“They advise that once they have received the report they will be able to take enforcement action should the owners have not dealt with the issues effectively.”
Challenge House added they are “committed to providing timely repairs and to providing decent, safe homes to tenants”
Mike Robinson, Strategic Director at Mansfield District Council, said: “The adjacent landlord said he intends to carry out improvements and has instructed contractors to start work. We have advised both owners to undertake independent surveys to establish the cause of the damp and we will continue to monitor the situation.”