Mouldy house

PUBLISHED: 15:50 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 06:55 30 May 2010

Linda Derrick with cracked floor Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

Linda Derrick with cracked floor Picture: MICHAEL BOYTON

MOTHER Linda Derrick is demanding Uttlesford District Council stops shirking responsibility for repairs after living in a damp and mouldy council house for 10 years. Mrs Derrick, of Ravens Crescent, Felsted, claims she has been living amongst cracks and d

MOTHER Linda Derrick is demanding Uttlesford District Council stops shirking responsibility for repairs after living in a damp and mouldy council house for 10 years.

Mrs Derrick, of Ravens Crescent, Felsted, claims she has been living amongst cracks and damp for her entire tenure, which she claims has affected her health.

Suffering from asthma, which she believes is a direct result of the mould and damp, she said: "I didn't have asthma 10 years ago and it has got worse since I have been here.

"I am suffering from depression, living in fear that my house may just fall down around me."

She says her walls are littered with cracks, her lounge window still has a hole in it from before she took up residence and that an outbuilding is a hazard because of subsidence.

"When I rang the council about it I was told that it wasn't even part of the house," said Mrs Derrick.

Mother to an 11-year-old son, she works full time and has paid out £3000 in redecorating costs.

She said: "Every time I redecorate a room, new cracks or damp spots appear; it is ongoing, I feel it will never end."

Uttlesford District Council promised to carry out work including electrical wiring, and repairs to the outhouse building but, she says, they never turned up.

The story took another twist when she received a letter addressed to her explaining renovations taking place next door.

She said: "The girl next door works for the council part-time. She had new PVC windows and doors after living there for a year, before being relocated to a bigger house. The internal renovations continued next door even when it was empty.

"I was left stuck here with nothing and yet still paying the rent," she said.

A spokesman for Uttlesford District Council repairs department said: "Since Mrs Derrick's tenancy began, repairs have been carried out, including monitoring the outhouse for possible movement.

"Surveyors carried out minor works to stabilise the outhouse building, and will continue to as required. In addition, an extractor fan has been installed in the kitchen.

"We take great pride in working with residents and carry out 12,000 repairs a year. Currently satisfaction with the service is rated at 90 per cent.

"Repairs to this particular council property have been dealt with in a reasonable timespan serving the interests of the occupant.

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