Couple living in black mold covered flat with rotting beams fear for unborn baby


Liam and his partner Trinity became aware of the problems in their Derby flat in September 2020 and claim they’ve now become worse despite them contacting their housing group several times

Liam says the couple have had to take showers at the homes of family because of he problems

A couple living in a black mold covered flat with rotting beams fear for the life of their unborn baby.

Liam and partner Trinity rent a flat in Derby city center but have had to stay in the homes of their families because of ongoing issues.

Their flat, owned by Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, has had trades out twice, but neither visit has solved the issues.

They say mold and other concerns are putting their unborn baby’s health in danger because of stress.

Liam, 33, moved in on September 2019, with rental costs at £445 a month before bills.

He became aware of the problems in September 2020, but claims they are now worse despite contacting the housing group several times.

Liam told DerbyshireLive : “It was just a few little drips coming through the ceiling, and I started seeing paint peeling off, and my lights started going a little bit faulty in the bathroom.

“I called Metropolitan up, reported it and I was told that it’s a problem from upstairs and it’s down to them to make the report for the repair.







Their city center flat, owned by Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, has been visited by trades twice but neither has solved the issues
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Image:

Derby Telegraph / BPM Media)







The holes in the roof and black mold which the couple say are stressing them out
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Image:

Derby Telegraph / BPM Media)

“But they’re not going to be aware of a problem if it’s leaking down into my ceiling, which I told Metropolitan multiple times.

“My ceiling has started to peel and all the plaster has got wet. Over the last few months, it’s just gotten worse, my electric lights in the bathroom have repeatedly failed, and the bathroom has got no windows at all, so it’s completely dark in there.

“It got to a point where I noticed a hole had appeared and I was again told it was down to upstairs to report, but they weren’t aware of anything going wrong.

“All the paint had come off my ceiling and it started to look unsafe.

“The plasterboard was sagging and there was a hole where water was coming.

“Someone came out and scrapped away all the paint which uncovered two more holes, but I was told it was completely safe and it was strong, and that he had sorted out the problem.

“But I had to call him out again as it was leaking for 12 hours consistently. The wet plasterboard was cut away which uncovered the beam, which had started to rot.

“When he cut away the plasterboard, it exposed a lot of black mold and there is black mold that is growing around the light fixture as well.

“It’s still leaking water, I can’t even access my basic facilities. I don’t want to be having a shower while their waste water pipe is leaking on me.

“The black mold is also a massive health hazard for anybody, let alone a woman who is 33 weeks pregnant or a newborn who will be here in a few weeks.”

The rotting wooden beam which has been exposed is also supporting two concrete slabs, reinforcing Liam and Trinity’s reluctance to use their bathroom for fear it may snap.

The couple have got a social worker involved to try to resolve the issue but they claim the housing group is “dragging their heels” over the problems.

Liam has been told by maintenance staff from MTVH that they believe a pipe inlet is leaking or a waste water pipe needs fixing.

But he has also been told that, while staff are set to come out to fix the ceiling at the end of the month, they will only fix the plasterboard, rather than the cause of the problem itself.

Liam, who also has Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) which is aggravated by the stress caused by the problems, said he and Trinity have had to resort to skipping showers, using water from the sink and traveling to relatives’ homes to keep clean.

He said: “It’s gotten to the point now where neither me or my partner feel safe using the bathroom or the shower because of that rotten joist.

“The beam is supporting two concrete slabs which provide the flooring for upstairs, so if the joist was to suddenly go we’re going to have two concrete slabs fall on us.

“I’ve provided proof when I tried to contact them in December, and I’m still having the same problem even now. It really does feel like I’m just being fobbed off and nobody’s listening to us and nobody cares.

“It’s an added stress that we don’t need, we’re meant to be relaxing and taking care of ourselves and it’s putting undue stress on me, which goes onto Trinity and onto the baby.

“We are both concerned with the baby’s health because they don’t need the stress, and neither do I with my EUPD, as that makes me quite vulnerable.

“Metropolitan have a duty of care to make sure we’re OK.

“It’s a lot of unneeded stress and aggravation, a lot of frustration towards Metropolitan as I have been trying to report it for so long, and it’s now resulted in what I see as conditions which affect my ability to access basic facilities.”

MTVH provides housing across London, the South East, the East Midlands and East Anglia and has homes in 155 local authorities across the country.

A spokesperson for the group said: “The safety and wellbeing of all our residents is our top priority. We would like to apologize to Liam and his partner for the difficulties they have experienced.

“Unfortunately, when this issue was raised with us in mid-February, we were initially unable to gain access to the property.

“We have now been able to access both homes affected in this case and have ensured the properties and our residents are safe.

“We are now working with our residents to ensure the necessary repairs are fully completed in the next 10 days.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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