Edinburgh women protest letting agent after 'waiting nearly two years for repairs'

Georgia Tatò, 23, and Katie Brown,
-Credit: (Image: Living Rent)

Edinburgh tenants claim they lived in a flat with black mould for two years.

Georgia Tatò, 23, and Katie Brown, 24, were renting the property in Leith, and say they got so fed up with the issue they eventually moved out.

The friends, who claim they felt 'unsafe' due to the issue, say they also reported a faulty extractor fan in the bathroom of the property.

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Glenham Property, acting on behalf of the landlord, offered £600 compensation and the pair's deposit back as a gesture of 'goodwill' - but the tenants say it's not enough, and want full acknowledgement of the issues.

The pair, who were renting the two-bed flat for £975 per month, said they don't want other tenants to go through the same ordeal.

Georgia, who is 23 and works full time, said: "We lived in the flat for nearly two years and the extractor fan wasn't working properly in the windowless bathroom. We reported it but over time black mould grew across the wall. We did what we could to try to keep it under control but the fan never got fixed.

"Then in January 2023, a part of the ceiling cracked and crumbled in the living room. Huge cracks appeared in the hallway and in the bedroom, sparking fear in us. To be fair, Glenham Property did come over quickly and put bolts up to secure the ceiling and made sure it was safe. But I noticed when they put the holes in the ceiling to drill the bolts, there was insulation. All this cold air was coming through."

She added: "For that time in that flat, we didn't feel safe. The fan was never fixed. There was a lack of consideration to our wellbeing and left us in a constant state of distress. All we wanted was a safe, dry, and structurally sound home."

Georgia and Katie found support in the tenant's union Living Rent. She said: "We wanted to move forward and for Glenham Property and for them to know that we shouldn't have been treated that way."

The pair took part in a demonstration with Living Rent and called upon the estate agents to discuss matters- however, their request was refused.

Miles Gilham, Managing Director of Glenham Property, told Edinburgh Live that he would recommend that the tenants now go through the legal route through the First Tier Tribunal if they had any other concerns.

He said: "We are always keen to hear from any tenant should they feel there are concerns that need addressing. If unexpected occurrences do happen, our aim is to work hard to find a solution in the quickest possible timeframe and to offer additional support where necessary too.

"We take such responsibilities extremely seriously and are always open to conversation to remedy any issues. If a tenant remains unhappy or has further concerns which they feel are valid, they are also able to take their concerns to First Tier Tribunal, where all points are independently reviewed and a binding resolution set."

Agota Rauktyte, a Living Rent spokesperson says: “Living Rent have been working to support members, Georgia and Katie, who have had a horrible two years renting from Glenham property, where they had to live with damp and mould, and a collapsed ceiling for the majority of their tenancy.

"No one should live in these types of conditions, especially when they are paying extortionate rents. As a tenants' union we want to ensure that Georgia and Katie are compensated fairly for having to put up with such conditions which have negatively impacted their health and wellbeing.

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"We want to see landlords and letting agencies taking real responsibility for their tenants and the standard of housing that they provide.

"Rents are skyrocketing and becoming increasingly unaffordable, but the quality of housing is deteriorating at a rapid pace. We need rent controls that are tied directly to the quality of properties, so that landlords and letting agents have a real incentive to make the necessary repairs and improvements to make housing not just liveable, but a place that someone can call a home.”

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