September 17 2014 Latest news:
By Emma Brennan
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
A FAMILY from Hadleigh is fighting an ongoing battle with the district council over repairs to their home.
Jonathan Adams said his wife and young children have endured a catalogue of problems since they moved into the rented council house in September 2008, including a leaking roof and persistent mould on the walls.
Mr Adams said, despite repeated requests to Babergh District Council during the past four years, most of the jobs have not been completed. He has now been told the local authority will treat the house for mould, but he fears the chemicals contractors intend to use could be harmful to his children, who are aged one, four and six.
A Babergh spokesman said the district authority had already spent around £10,000 on work identified by Mr Adams at the house, since the family had occupied it.
But Mr Adams said: “We first flagged up with the council in 2009 that the roof was leaking but they didn’t replace it until February this year.
“We have had to put up with rampant mould ever since we moved in and it is starting to affect our health. My kids keep coughing and it is a thoroughly unpleasant place to be. We can’t make it into a comfortable home because there is so much that needs doing and the council keeps delaying the work.”
After Mr Adams sought legal advice, Babergh agreed to treat the mould, but he believes it should have been done in the summer months when the house could be well ventilated.
He added: “My wife has been in touch with the manufacturers of the product the council intends to use and they told her it should not be used on large areas, or while there are people in the house.
“When we flagged up our concerns with the council, they suggested we move out for an unspecified period, but we have nowhere to go. We are reasonable people who have been put in an unreasonable situation.”
The Babergh spokesman said the authority had made every effort to solve ongoing problems of condensation and subsequent mould at the house. He said: “The property has got a new roof, double-glazed windows, a full central heating system and loft insulation.
“We have also carried out numerous surveys which have all pointed to excessive condensation in the house as the issue. Mr Adams has been advised how using his heating system and correct ventilation will reduce the condensation.”
He said Babergh was confident the mould treatment was a “domestic” product that could be used by any individual, adding: “So we believe there is no necessity for him and his family to vacate the property while this is being carried out.”