St Albans couple with twin toddlers living amid Hightown damp and mould

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 August 2020

Damp and mould in Hightown Housing Association flat in Charrington Place. Picture: Supplied

Damp and mould in Hightown Housing Association flat in Charrington Place. Picture: Supplied

Archant

A couple with twin toddlers say they are at their wits’ end after enduring months of leaking roof and mouldy walls.

Damp and mould in Hightown Housing Association flat in Charrington Place. Picture: SuppliedDamp and mould in Hightown Housing Association flat in Charrington Place. Picture: Supplied

Kane Rafferty and Katie Coates contacted the Herts Ad after getting nowhere with landlord Hightown Housing.

The couple moved into Ellis House in Charrington Place three months ago, after leaving temporary accommodation.

This is not the first time this newspaper has been contacted by tenants suffering from similar problems in this block of flats.

Kane and Katie said they have been told their problems would be sorted out but still nothing has happened. They feel as though they are being fobbed off with false promises.

The family in Hightown Housing flats Ellis House are having to live with damp and mould. Picture: SuppliedThe family in Hightown Housing flats Ellis House are having to live with damp and mould. Picture: Supplied

Having bought a dehumidifier to soak up some of the damp, the cost of their electricity bills has rocketed.

Katie, 27, said: “We are crying every day. We are not sleeping at all. I am really worried about the health of my twin boys who are only two. The whole bathroom is just horrible. There is mould and water all over the wall. We cannot decorate over it as the workman told us it will just come back.

“My husband and I have tried to get them to sort it out by ringing every other day for three months.

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“Apart from giving us a dehumidifier, nothing has been done.

“Our chests feel like they are being affected by the damp. We are just stuck here.

“I want this to be sorted so it can be a home and not a hell-hole.”

The couple pay £611 per month plus service charge and wish they could move but they need to rely on the discount of a social landlord. They do not feel it is fair that they have sub-standard living conditions.

A spokesperson from Hightown Housing said: “We were very sorry to hear that there had been a recurrence of a roof leak.The managing agent is responsible for maintaining and repairing the building.

“No further leaks were found and it was four months before we re-let the property.

“There was another leak to the roof after a recent downpour.

“We have been told that the managing agent arranged for a contractor to visit the family yesterday. We have been visiting regularly to check that the property remains safe. We provided a dehumidifier and will pay for the running costs while it is required.

“We understand that this has been a difficult time for the resident and her family and are sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused.”


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