Family's disgust at mouldy conditions inside Harrogate council house

Mould at Pateley Bridge home
Mould at Pateley Bridge home

A Pateley Bridge family has slammed the “disgusting” conditions inside their council house following an on-going battle against a series of mould and damp problems.

Chris and Emma Mawer moved into their two-bedroom bungalow in Glasshouses in June 2014 with their 15 and 12-year-old daughters.

Mould at Pateley Bridge home

Mould at Pateley Bridge home

However, the family have claimed there is a “serious mould problem” inside the bungalow caused by cramp conditions and a lack of ventilation.

Despite constant complaints to Harrogate Borough Council (HBC), the family have been told there are “no defects” in the bungalow that would lead to rising or penetrating damp.

Mr Mawer said that the mouldy conditions inside the rooms had reached such revolting levels that his daughters were now too embarrassed to invite friends round to the house.

He said: “The bungalow is too small for a family of four. We are crammed into a house with no real bathroom, no ventilation and not enough room for our furniture.

Mould at Pateley Bridge home

Mould at Pateley Bridge home

“There are no air grates and we keep our bedroom windows open 24 hours a day for fresh air but we still have damp everywhere. It’s disgusting.

“It’s behind the blinds and the beds where my daughters sleep, all the way up the wall to the window. We’re forever cleaning it but there’s nothing we can do.

“My two daughters share a bedroom and they don’t want to invite friends round. They’re too embarrassed about the state of the house which is just heartbreaking to see.”

Coun Mike Chambers, HBC’s cabinet member for Housing and Safer Communities said that thorough inspections of the property had been carried out and that the problem had been caused by condensation damp.

He said: “This can be caused by poor ventilation, especially in areas which are susceptible to moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens.

“The extractor fans in the property have been serviced and are in good working order and we have provided a wide range of advice on how to manage heating, ventilation and moisture control which will help manage the problem of condensation in the property.

"The council takes its responsibility to address tenant’s issues extremely seriously.”

The properties at Glasshouses were built as part of HBC’s affordable housing scheme which could see 50 new affordable homes being built across the district over the next few years.

However, Mr Mawer said that the council were more concerned with the house being energy efficient than it being “covered in mould”.

He said: “The council came round to treat it once and said it should last for a year. That lasted for six weeks and they’ve said there’s nothing more they can do.

“There’s nothing more we can do but wipe it down every day. The girls’ bedding is covered in mould and it’s costing us a fortune constantly buying new sheets.

“My wife is now on anti-depressants over the state of the house. I’m sick of seeing my family so upset and I’m concerned for their health.”