Family fear eviction on Christmas Day after mould complaints rebuked by landlord

A mother and daughter are facing eviction from their home on Christmas Day following complaints they made about a serious mould issue, which is “damaging her and her daughter’s health”.

Tanya Hull, claims her family now has respiratory issues due to the mould and dampness they have been experiencing over the last few months.

She claims that clothes and furniture from the house have been damaged beyond repair due to the hazardous conditions.

Currently, the local council is investigating the claims made by Tanya who says the house is not fit to live in.

However, her problems have got worse as she recently received notice to leave the house after refusing to sign a tenancy agreement.

A damp reading from Tanya’s house revealed there was a 33.5% reading of damp the building concrete

The landlord wanted Tanya to agree that the house was fit and proper for living but she disagrees and now faces eviction as a consequence.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Tanya, who lives in Dromara, Co Down, said: “For the past few months living in this house has become unbearable, my daughter and I have both started having bad respiratory problems due to the mould and it is having a really bad effect on our mental health.

“Our furniture, including sofas and beds, are constantly covered in mould and damp and it has even ruined some of our clothes.

“There are problems with dampness in the walls and floors, with the moisture in the concrete itself being nearly twice of what is allowed at 33%.

“We have been working with environmental health for months regarding this, with them saying in a report in August that there were numerous damp issues in the house.

“All we have asked for is somewhere decent to live, but none of the issues that we have raised has been addressed by the landlord, who has told us to leave on Christmas Day after I refused to sign a tenancy agreement which would have said the house is fit to live in when it is not.

Visible damp on the walls and ceiling in Tanya's 'unliveable home'
Visible damp on the walls and ceiling in Tanya’s ‘unliveable home’

“I am a full-time carer for my daughter and because of the situation we are in, we cannot get help with another house from the Housing Executive until we are officially homeless on Christmas.”

The letter telling Tanya to quit the property said “handover date will be on 25th December 2021.”

Our sister Belfast Live has seen a report by a Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Environmental Health officer which highlights a number of issues following a visit to the property in August.

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It said: “It was noted at the time of my visit that the plaster surrounding the living room window was damp and the plaster was crumbling off the wall. The concrete floor directly under the window was also showing damp in excess. Employ a competent person to inspect the affected area and determine the source. Remove all damp affected plaster in this area and replaster once remedial works have been completed.”

The landlord of the property has rejected the claims made by Tanya, saying that there is not a damp problem in the house and that an expert had visited the property this week and not found any issues.

They also said that Environmental Health had not made any inspections of the property and that any damp or mould in the house was a result of the tenants’ actions and not a mould problem in the house.

A Newry Mourne and Down District Council spokesperson said: “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Environmental Health Department is currently investigating the matters that the tenant has raised in relation to the property. The Council has kept the tenant informed of the actions that have been taken and will continue to be taken in relation to this matter.”

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