Dagenham couple forced to live with bathroom covered in mould for 9 years

An Essex couple have been living with "embarrassing" mould in their home for nearly a decade- despite numerous pleas to get the council to fix it. Alysha Sayers and her husband, first issues in their council-owned flat in Siviter Way, Dagenham in 2015, shortly after a renovation.

Barking and Dagenham Council renovated all the blocks in the building in 2015 which was welcomed eagerly by Alysha and her husband, who had no idea they would be dealing with issues as a result nine years later.

Alysha, who works for Pets at Home, noticed ceiling drips just a couple of months after the renovation and immediately contacted the council. She claims, a contractor was sent out to take some pictures but that no action was taken at that point.

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That was just the start of her battle to try and get the issue resolved as mould developed in the bathroom and seperate toilet room - Alysha says chasing the council has made her feel like she is going insane. She said: “It’s embarrassing, I cannot have people over because my house is mouldy! And it’s black mould, it’s really bad for our health!

"It's been reported on and off over the last nearly nine years, and every now and again, somebody will come take a picture, have a little look and go, 'Yeah, you've got a leak.' And then we never hear from them again."

She claims, they still have not been told whether the source of the leak is from the roof or the floors between the flats. Every time Alysha has contacted the council, she claims a new contractor is sent out who lacks awareness of the ongoing situation. She says she feels this could have been an easy fix at the start, but now it’s affecting too many flats.

The toilet's ceiling started leaking nine years ago, after the council renovated the flat
The toilet's ceiling started leaking nine years ago, after the council renovated the flat -Credit:MyLondon

Due to the amount of mould in the bathroom Alysha says she is unable to leave anything exposed, as it inevitably becomes mouldy or risks being damaged by the deteriorating ceiling. She has had to buy a special cover to safeguard her toothbrush as leaving it in a standard holder would result in mould.

She added: “My towels, face cloths, if they are not immediately put to dry after each use, they go mouldy. I’ve already had to throw several away.”

Alysha says that the most recent incident was when contractors came in December last year. She claims they ripped out all the rotted skirting from the floor and housing for the pipes - and it remains in that state now.

The floor and housing for the pipes seem to have been removed last December
The floor and housing for the pipes seem to have been removed last December -Credit:MyLondon

Alysha says that she shouldn't have to live with this situation, and doesn't want to leave her home. She said: "This is our home. My husband has been here for 27 years. It’s a nice block, neighbours are nice and it’s perfectly located for both our jobs.

"I don’t want to move. Also, it’s expensive and we are very fortunate to be in a council-owned flat, private rent is just completely out of range for us."

In response to the claims made by Alysha Barking and Dagenham Council has committed to addressing the issues within the next week. They have also agreed to compensate her and her husband for three years.

They said: “We can confirm that officers have visited the property in the past week and will be carrying out the necessary works on the flat in the next week.

“In addition, we have allocated a designated officer who will continue to liaise with Mr Sayers until the problem is resolved. The delays were due to an oversight on the part of a contractor and for this we have apologised to the tenant.”

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