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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Disabled Canterbury mum Laura Aitcheson and sick daughter forced out of home in Godden Road by mould

17 January 2014
by Lowri Stafford

A disabled Canterbury mother and her sick daughter say they have been driven out of their council flat by a mould problem that has blighted their lives for six years.

Epilepsy sufferer Laura Aitcheson says her life has been made a "living hell" by leaks, mould and damp - which is ruining her furniture and affecting her and her daughter's health.

The 40-year-old claims the local authority is refusing to send someone out to her home in Godden Road until next month, forcing her and 15-year-old Courtney to stay with her mother.

Laura Aitcheson and her daughter Courtney say life is hell in their mould-ridden house

Laura Aitcheson and her daughter Courtney say life is hell in their mould-ridden house

She said: "I've had to move all my furniture out and pull up the carpets because of all the water coming in. The living room carpet is covered in white furry mould.

"I redecorated the flat two weeks ago, and already the paint is cracking and coming off. And it's making my daughter's asthma worse. We shouldn't have to live like this. It's so stressful."

Miss Aitcheson has battled with Canterbury City Council over damp and mould for six years and said she even successfully sued the authority in 2010 over the damage caused to her belongings.

Problems include condensation in her bedroom, which forces her to sleep with the windows open in the middle of winter.

A damp patch in the pair's council house in Godden Road, Canterbury

A damp patch in the pair's council house in Godden Road, Canterbury

Miss Aitcheson says furniture, including a new three-piece suite worth £800, has also been destroyed by damp.

She added: "I already sued the council over this, but I feel like I'm back to square one. I've had enough. The council needs to do something about it, or move us into another house."

It is thought the council is dealing with a backlog of higher priority cases due to damage caused to homes during the wet and windy weather.

Mould and damp in Laura Aitcheson's flat in Godden Road

Mould and damp in Laura Aitcheson's flat in Godden Road

Patches of mould in the council house said to have made live hell for the mother and daughter

Patches of mould in the council house said to have made live hell for the mother and daughter

Mould on the walls in their council home

Mould on the walls in their council home

Andrew Nicholls, senior surveyor for East Kent Housing, said the damp issue was reported on January 8 and a home visit will take place next Friday.

He said: "This is within the usual timescale for a routine non-urgent repair.

"We can confirm that on January 13 we received a complaint from Miss Aitcheson regarding mould damage to her furniture and carpet, which we are dealing with as an official complaint."Once this property inspection has occurred, we will, of course, arrange for any required repairs to be carried out.

"This will involve us carrying out a full investigation of the matter and if any faults are found with the way we have acted, we will respond to those where required."

 


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