"I get fungus on my pots, after a day or two"
A mother who lives in a temporary council flat in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, has said the property is “unfit for human living”, claiming that it is making her three children ill.
Zeenat Khan has alleged that the mouldy walls and musty smell is making her five-week-old son and her two twins, aged 23 months, ill “every week”.
She said: “When family come here I feel like they’re laughing at me because it smells, they say: ‘I don’t know how you can live here’.
“I tell them it’s not a choice, if I could I wouldn’t want to put my kids through this.
“On a weekly basis, the kids come down with a cold because of the living conditions. Mohammed is always coughing.”
The issues reportedly started from “day one” when she moved into the address in December 2019.
Since then, she claims she’s been taking advice to keep cleaning the mould from her walls, however, the damp and smell has worsened.
Zeenat said: “There’s fungus even on the kids’ pushchair. I keep cleaning, it’s not helping.
“I can’t do it anymore with the damp, it’s upset me a lot of times where I do cry to my mum and my aunty.”
She has a dehumidifier and has been keeping windows and doors open, but says the property smells like a “dead rat”.
On the kitchen, Zeenat added: “The kitchen makes me sick the most, when I’m trying to cook, I get fungus on my pots, after a day or two, it’s unhygienic.
“Everything smells under the cupboard, I had some porridge under the cupboard that got fungus inside it, and that’s why I put everything on the units outside.”
Alongside the dampness, Zeenat says the council flat is more than 10 miles away from her family, making it difficult to access support.
She told Birmingham Mail: “I’ve got bidding, each time I’ve bid for a property it comes up as I’m 200th position and I’m not getting any priority to get a place.
“I’ve tried looking for rent but it’s not affordable with three kids, especially on my own as well, I’ve tried everything.”
She claims she has had no reply from Birmingham City Council, despite contacting them on numerous occasions. The authority said it had not received any complaints about the mould but has since arranged for the property to be treated on November 3, 2020.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:
“To date, the tenant has not contacted us or reported any issues with damp or mould at the property.
“While we will do all we can to provide decent standards of housing for our tenants, we need them to work with us and let us know where there are problems.
“Not only does this allow us to maintain good standards but it is part of the conditions of tenancy.
“Now that we have been made aware of the issue, we have arranged for the property to be treated on Wednesday 3 November 2020.”