‘Beyond a joke’: Tenant’s fury over mouldy bungalow

Helen Janes' new bungalow has been devestated by recurring mould.
Helen Janes' new bungalow has been devestated by recurring mould.

A chronically-ill woman says that she and her 11-year-old son have had their lives “ruined” by a mouldy bungalow they were allocated in North Somercotes.

Helen Janes, 35, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease and Degenerative Disc Disease, moved with her son Joseph to Lincolnshire from Windsor in order to be closer to her family, so that they would be able to help look after Joseph when her medical conditions flare up.

They were allocated a two-bedroom bungalow in North Somercotes, through the Waterloo Housing Group. Helen signed for the property on the day of the viewing, as she could see no visible problems.

Helen said: “Within two weeks, mould and damp had developed. I couldn’t believe how bad it got, so quickly.

“An inspector came round and blamed me, even though I had done nothing wrong.

“There is no ventilation and there are no extractor fans.

“The mould is ruining everything. Half of my medication was ruined, and a £500 bed that my parents bought for Joseph has mould growing out of the mattress. His bedroom has become uninhabitable.

“The inspector told me to wipe the mould off, but that is not advisable as I could get spores in my immune system.

“It scares the living daylights out of me; this mould could put me in hospital.”

Helen’s cousin, who lives in Spilsby, has been making a round trip every other day to help try and deal with the problem.

Malcolm Kaszics, Asset Maintenance Manager at Waterloo Housing Group, responded: “Ms Janes moved into the property at the beginning of January, and contacted us on January 20 about the problems she was having.

“We installed heat sensors in her property to monitor conditions. Sensor readings show that the property could be better ventilated and that the heating was not being used to best effect, causing condensation and mildew to form.

“On February 7 we visited the property with the council’s Housing Standards Officer and have given Ms Janes further guidance on how to best ventilate and heat her home.

“To help with this, we are installing extractor fans in both the bathroom and kitchen. We are also arranging for the walls in Ms Janes bedroom to be professionally cleaned to remove any traces of mildew.”