A single mum claims her young son could have been killed when a bedroom ceiling collapsed in their mould-infested rental house.
Kat, 28, has told of her struggle to find suitable private accommodation for her and her five-year-old son, alleging persistent mould has made the boy ill.
The mum, who lives in Bristol, claims the landlord has refused to pay for repairs after the ceiling caved in and her son’s former bedroom is now hollow and empty after the ceiling was stripped.
Kat, who works at a pub and sells goods at markets, told BristolLive that they now have had to share a bedroom and she has remained in the two-bed property because she cannot find a home that suits their needs and is in the same area of the city.
She claims her son regularly suffers from bronchitis due to living in properties with mould.
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The incident involving the ceiling happened in 2018 after a leak came through.
Kat said: “I told [the property manager] ‘you’re lucky that the split in the ceiling wasn’t over his bed because if it was it could have killed him or injured him because he’s just a baby’.”
The estate agent arranged to get the ceiling patched up, and the problems with mould have since been resolved.
But now structural issues have been discovered in the roof, Kat claims.
Her son’s former bedroom is hollow, with the whole ceiling gone and insulation ripped out, making the house cold, it was reported.
Kat and her son were in and out as work was done on the home, and when they returned she said she was unable to sleep in the first three days due to the cold and her anxiety about the roof.
She said painters said they would not be able to paint the bedroom where the leak occurred due the need for more extensive repairs.
Kat and her son left the property again and this time she was informed that that landlord would not be able to carry out repairs and is also considering selling the house.
Kat said she has struggled to find another rental home due to rising costs.
She said: “I feel like society at the moment is not cut out for everybody.
“More people are slipping into poverty who weren’t a few years ago.
“All the energy prices have shot up, all the rent prices have shot up and it’s affecting everybody.
“I felt very much like I was in the middle before whereas now I feel like I’m right at the bottom, just because of the rent prices.
“The way it’s gone up so dramatically, it’s such a big chunk of my money and would push me into poverty 100 per cent.”
She said she has made enquiries on more than a hundred properties in and around Easton in the last month, hoping to remain in the area where she has a support network and her son is settled in his primary school.
Kat has registered with Home Choice but it will be a few more weeks before she can begin to bid for social housing.
A spokesperson for Andrews property group said: “At Andrews we always prioritise tenant safety.
“We are in regular contact with both the tenant and the landlord and are working with them both to support a resolution.
“Our team identified a safety issue at this property.
“We acted promptly to have a qualified structural engineer assess the situation, and on their advice worked with both parties to find suitable alternative accommodation.
“Our Bristol based team are additionally supporting the tenant on exploring all further options of accommodation until the property is suitably repaired.”