Residents living in Kidderminster ‘mouldy home hell’

Kidderminster Shuttle: ‘Living in hell’: Keeley and Kevin Nicholls at Keeley’s flat where walls are covered in ‘mould’. Picture: MIriam Balfry. 051401M. ‘Living in hell’: Keeley and Kevin Nicholls at Keeley’s flat where walls are covered in ‘mould’. Picture: MIriam Balfry. 051401M.

A KIDDERMINSTER father says he, his daughter and their neighbours are being forced to live "in hell", with their houses plagued by "mould" caused by damp conditions.

Kevin Nicholls, 52, who lives in Rifle Range Road and Keeley Nicholls, 24, who lives nearby in Avon Road, have hit out at The Community Housing Group [CHG], parent company of Wyre Forest Community Housing, which they rent their flats from, saying staff had not taken their complaints seriously and had failed to fix the problems.

Mr Nicholls, who is currently unemployed, said his daughter's situation was worse than his own and she had thrown out clothes, furniture and redecorated several times during the past five years - including unsuccessfully using damp-proof paint - but nothing had worked.

A spokesman for The Community Housing Group said it had arranged for an independent investigation to take place into Mr Nicholls' complaints about the properties but admitted establishing the cause of mould could be "complicated".

Miss Nicholls, also unemployed, said: "It is absolutely terrible - it is absolutely freezing. I have been told to leave windows open and the heating on but I cannot afford to just leave my heating on.

"My flat is frozen. I have to sleep with two blankets in bed and have had to throw everything away. I have had this for five years and keep redecorating my flat and now I have completely given up - I really think I should move, as it is costing me a bomb.

"I have brothers who won't come to visit because they would have to bring their kids, who cannot sit in the flat with all of that."

Mr Nicholls added: "We keep being told by people [at The Community Housing Group] it is condensation. I have been in the building trade and it is not condensation. The walls are soaking wet and black with mould. They only treat the inside of the house but if you do not treat the outside of the walls you will not be able to treat the inside properly.

"People are living in hell in these flats - you not put a dog in these flats. There are elderly people, disabled people, people with children who have all got the damp issue."

The Community Housing Group spokesman said: "Establishing the cause of mould can be complicated, as there are many factors to take into consideration.

"We have spoken to Mr Nicholls and have arranged for an independent investigation to take place so we can give the appropriate advice if it is caused by condensation or carry out any recommended works."

Comments (8)

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11:05am Thu 30 Jan 14

T Coulthard says...

Damp can cause so many health issues and is not something that will just 'go away'. It is disgusting that these residents appear to be getting so little help. I wonder whether they have upgraded the insulation within the last few years. We have just had a loft conversion and experience a damp issue round one window. Our roofer has explained that the new insulation regulations are sometimes leading to damp issues because no one really knows what ventilation is required. The regulations are changed frequently as they learn more about the effects.

I hope that this article encourages the Community Housing Group to dedicate some time to help these people.
Damp can cause so many health issues and is not something that will just 'go away'. It is disgusting that these residents appear to be getting so little help. I wonder whether they have upgraded the insulation within the last few years. We have just had a loft conversion and experience a damp issue round one window. Our roofer has explained that the new insulation regulations are sometimes leading to damp issues because no one really knows what ventilation is required. The regulations are changed frequently as they learn more about the effects. I hope that this article encourages the Community Housing Group to dedicate some time to help these people. T Coulthard
  • Score: -2

5:19pm Thu 30 Jan 14

rurallocation says...

I too have this issue with damp/mould we have a 2 bed property I have contacted the housing on numerous occasions and nothing seems to be done im told its condensation open the windows but it isn't down to condensation my house was built in the 1940s we have insuffient loft installation the roof isn't felted we cannot have cavity wall installation and the windows are old double glazed the loft installation was done back in 97 and is falling apart but little is done by the housing who I have complained to several times
I too have this issue with damp/mould we have a 2 bed property I have contacted the housing on numerous occasions and nothing seems to be done im told its condensation open the windows but it isn't down to condensation my house was built in the 1940s we have insuffient loft installation the roof isn't felted we cannot have cavity wall installation and the windows are old double glazed the loft installation was done back in 97 and is falling apart but little is done by the housing who I have complained to several times rurallocation
  • Score: -10

5:57pm Thu 30 Jan 14

spacedraider says...

i assume these people are drying their clothes inside house on radiators and tumble driers?
unfortunately old houses/flats suffer from condensation and thats the way it is. maybe getting a job and finding a newer home with better ventilation is an idea? Or take the publicity route and force the councils hand and get a house that way? ;)
i assume these people are drying their clothes inside house on radiators and tumble driers? unfortunately old houses/flats suffer from condensation and thats the way it is. maybe getting a job and finding a newer home with better ventilation is an idea? Or take the publicity route and force the councils hand and get a house that way? ;) spacedraider
  • Score: 12

2:40pm Fri 31 Jan 14

rurallocation says...

rurallocation wrote:
I too have this issue with damp/mould we have a 2 bed property I have contacted the housing on numerous occasions and nothing seems to be done im told its condensation open the windows but it isn't down to condensation my house was built in the 1940s we have insuffient loft installation the roof isn't felted we cannot have cavity wall installation and the windows are old double glazed the loft installation was done back in 97 and is falling apart but little is done by the housing who I have complained to several times
we do not dry clothes in our home also we are a working household
[quote][p][bold]rurallocation[/bold] wrote: I too have this issue with damp/mould we have a 2 bed property I have contacted the housing on numerous occasions and nothing seems to be done im told its condensation open the windows but it isn't down to condensation my house was built in the 1940s we have insuffient loft installation the roof isn't felted we cannot have cavity wall installation and the windows are old double glazed the loft installation was done back in 97 and is falling apart but little is done by the housing who I have complained to several times[/p][/quote]we do not dry clothes in our home also we are a working household rurallocation
  • Score: 1

6:02pm Sat 1 Feb 14

the batshake says...

Might I suggest you do what many homeowners Have to do when faced with this situation, myself included, get yourself down b&q and sort it out yourself.
Might I suggest you do what many homeowners Have to do when faced with this situation, myself included, get yourself down b&q and sort it out yourself. the batshake
  • Score: 8

9:18am Sun 2 Feb 14

Graphical says...

the batshake wrote:
Might I suggest you do what many homeowners Have to do when faced with this situation, myself included, get yourself down b&q and sort it out yourself.
I like thousands of others would love you to tell us what to buy at B&Q to solve this problem. I live in a 70's bungalow with damp problems and have spent a fortune on it so far!
[quote][p][bold]the batshake[/bold] wrote: Might I suggest you do what many homeowners Have to do when faced with this situation, myself included, get yourself down b&q and sort it out yourself.[/p][/quote]I like thousands of others would love you to tell us what to buy at B&Q to solve this problem. I live in a 70's bungalow with damp problems and have spent a fortune on it so far! Graphical
  • Score: -2

12:50pm Mon 3 Feb 14

spacedraider says...

A dehumidifier works wonders
A dehumidifier works wonders spacedraider
  • Score: 10

8:33pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Teabag12 says...

We moved into a new build house with bad damp. It was worse than those houses reported here. The previous tenants blamed the landlord. We had our reservations but the landlord had the place deep cleaned with mould spore killer and had it decorated prior to our moving in and we had an agreement in place to protect our deposit if the mould was to return.

We have been living here four years now without a problem. I open all the windows to ventilate the whole house in a morning and again just before bed. I clean off any moisture collected on the the windows. We keep the house at a nice warm 20 degrees Celsius. The bathroom fan isn't too good so we run a dehumidifier after showers & after cooking-you will be amazed at what moisture it collects. (Touch wood) We haven't had any problem with mould!!! I dry clothes in the house in bad weather too!!
We moved into a new build house with bad damp. It was worse than those houses reported here. The previous tenants blamed the landlord. We had our reservations but the landlord had the place deep cleaned with mould spore killer and had it decorated prior to our moving in and we had an agreement in place to protect our deposit if the mould was to return. We have been living here four years now without a problem. I open all the windows to ventilate the whole house in a morning and again just before bed. I clean off any moisture collected on the the windows. We keep the house at a nice warm 20 degrees Celsius. The bathroom fan isn't too good so we run a dehumidifier after showers & after cooking-you will be amazed at what moisture it collects. (Touch wood) We haven't had any problem with mould!!! I dry clothes in the house in bad weather too!! Teabag12
  • Score: 5

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