Recently a number of people have asked if I can publish their stories on my blog. These are real stories from real people in Standish. I am quite happy to do this and the first one that I am starting off with is a story from a resident that is fighting mould in their Council property. They have asked and asked for the Wigan and Leigh homes to help solve the matter and they feel they are getting nowhere. They have asked for a house move but been refused. It also has a number of photos at the bottom too.
I first moved in to the house in late October 2013. The mould was there when I moved in. It had been hidden by furniture and pictures and wiped so it wasn't as noticeable. The damage in the house was also hidden until I moved in and saw the bare house as it was. There is mould in every corner of the house, the smell of mould is atrocious when the windows are closed. The damp has caused woodworm in both of the bathrooms. The council have replaced the upstairs bathroom door as it had so many holes in and woodworm coming out of it. The inspector looked at the downstairs bathroom door frame and said he would leave that as it didn't look bad. There are about 10-12 little holes and have woodworm in and out of them daily. My clothes and wardrobe have been ruined by the mould. I had to throw out most of my clothing and the wardrobe as it was the only way to get rid of the mould. My clothes are now in vacuum bags in my drawers, which are also covered in and smell like mould. I had kept my daughters cot disassembled in my room since she grew out of it and have had to take it to the tip as it was full of mould and I couldn't have let a child sleep in it even if it had been cleaned. My daughter now has asthma and uses an inhaler due to the mould spores in the air.
I reported the problem a few weeks after moving in to the property and was told 'due to agreeing to a mutual exchange' I wasn't entitled to any repairs for 12 months.
I reported the mould and damage again after 12 months and they sent an inspector out, who told me that it may be due to the way I was living, and if not then it would clear up as the previous tenants had a dryer and this could have been the cause. I wasn't happy with this and the mould kept growing, so I reported it again and the same inspector was sent out who walked around and left saying 'I'll get it sorted.' After it was not 'sorted' after a few months, I reported it again. The same inspector came the third time. He walked around and said he would 'get them to paint some mould stuff' over the mould but that I would not be able to paint or wall paper over it. He also said it could be due to me drying clothes on the radiators. I had one sheet on my bedroom radiator that wouldn't fit on the maiden and it was in the middle of winter. Also, he told me that I didn't open my windows enough, even though I have them open all day every day, although just on the catch when I go out. He also said that he would get a vent installed in my bedroom, the living room, the downstairs bathroom and the one in the kitchen replaced. A few weeks later a mears employee came to install two vents, one in each bedroom. I told him that my daughters bedroom didn't need a vent as it is not mouldy. I told him the vents were for mould and he told me that the problem would only be fixed if the corners of the house were properly insulated and that 'the council don't do that'. The vent has not solved the problem, it lets in a lot of noise, especially when its windy and because I live on a main road with plenty of traffic from 6am every morning. The mould is still growing and myself and my daughter have seemed to be nothing but ill since moving into the property.
The 'mould spray' hasn't been painted on the walls, even though I was told it would be, at least six months ago. My daughter's health is at stake and the council aren't helping. The house next door but one, was my grandma's house until she moved into a care home recently. I moved into this property to help take care of my grandma. I asked the council for a mutual exchange with my grandma's house after she moved out and they said to apply. We did, all forms were signed, lost and signed again. Both houses went on to the mutual exchange list and then a very rude lady came to my house to tell me that because my grandma has dementia, they can't accept forms to exchange and therefore it would not go forward. That same day, Mears vans moved in and started to work on my grandma's house. They couldn't accept a mutual exchange but could accept her giving her house up. Work was then carried out from 8am until 4pm every day for three weeks. My grandma had always looked after her home and it was in a lot better condition than my new home. Unnecessary repairs were carried out every day for three weeks and at least twice a week for the next 4 weeks. I was told I could apply for my grandma's home and that I would be sent the forms. This was 4th May and it is now the 23rd June and I still haven't received those forms. The house has now been taken off the housing list.
My property has an infestation of woodworm, they are all over the house, there was even one in my bed when I pulled the covers back two nights ago and I now have a problem with silverfish. Both of which like to live in damp conditions. The last inspector to visit about the woodworm said that it was the only case he'd ever known of and that they normally live in floorboards. This was not helpful to my situation. The house needs fumigating and repairing throughout.