'Water runs down the walls' - Woman, 65, hits out at mouldy council flat

Patches of mould and damp on the walls and ceiling of a flat in Clarendon Court in Great Yarmouth.

Patches of mould and damp on the walls and ceiling of a flat in Clarendon Close in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

A 65-year-old woman living with black mould in a council flat has criticised the local authority for a lack of action.

Karen Barrows lives with her two sons in top-floor accommodation in Clarendon Close in Middlegate in Great Yarmouth.

The walls in the living-room and bedrooms are blackened with patches of mould, while sections of the ceiling show stain damage and bubbling.

Cracks in the wall and a damaged ceiling at a flat in Great Yarmouth.

Cracks on the wall and bubble damage on a ceiling of a flat in Clarendon Close in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Ms Barrows said she first reported the problem to Great Yarmouth Borough Council seven years ago, only one week after moving into the property. The council says it will arrange a visit to assess the property.

"It's a terrible situation, it's gone on for so long," she said. "I've sent emails and photos and various inspectors have visited but the damp still continues.

"Some of the walls are black with mould. It smells dreadful.

"When it rains, water runs down the walls of my son's bedroom. He says it's like the walls are crying", she said.

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"It's not fair anymore."

She also said that Norse employees visited the flat last month and inspected the roof, telling her it was "full of asbestos that had been chewed up and broken into bits by rats".

"I don't understand why [the council] are ignoring me," she said.

In a statement, the borough council said: “The council will be visiting the property to assess the issues raised by the tenant, including to determine the extent and possible cause of any damp or mould, and to carry out an inspection of the roof in order to identify any additional work that is required."

Clarendon Court Great Yarmouth

Clarendon Close in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

Ms Barrows moved to the flat after staying for a while at a woman's refuge on Admiralty Road.

"I had to take the first place I saw. I couldn't refuse," she said.

She said she injured her back after falling on the stairs and has provided doctors' letters to the council, hoping to get a ground floor flat.

Ceiling damage at a flat in Clarendon Court in Great Yarmouth.

Water damage on a ceiling of a flat in Clarendon Close in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

The council spokesperson said: “Where a council tenant requires a move to another property, they apply to join the Allocations Pool and priority for a move is then assessed in accordance with the Council’s Housing Allocations Scheme. 

"Applicants will be considered for all types of properties, unless they are assessed to require a particular type of property for medical, or other, reasons.”

Mould on a bedroom wall at a flat in Clarendon Court in Great Yarmouth.

Patches of mould and damp on the walls and ceiling of a flat in Clarendon Close in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Daniel Hickey




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