Father claims his family’s health at risk from damp

By Farnham Herald in Community News

A FATHER-of-two from Farnham says his family is trapped in an endless cycle of illness and squalor as a result of the damp and cold conditions of their council house.

Nathan Yeates lives with his partner and their two young daughters in Talbot Road, near Farnham Park, and has threatened to withhold his rent unless Waverley Borough Council takes action to improve the condition of their home.

Chief among Mr Yeates’ complaints is the presence of ‘pink mould’ in the window reveals of his home’s upstairs bedrooms and living room, which he believes is directly affecting the health of his two daughters.

His youngest daughter, aged one, suffers chest infections, colds and coughs “non-stop” and is on antibiotics. While his eldest, aged four, coughs constantly unless a dehumidifier is used in her bedroom.

Mr Yeates believes these illnesses are all the result of living in a damp house, and he is concerned about the long-term health risks associated with pink mould which can include respiratory problems, inflammation and infections of the lungs, rashes and a general feeling of malaise.

He says he first notified the council of the problem 18 months ago but since then council contractors have painted over the mould, only for it to quickly seep through again.

Mr Yeates claims the roof of his council home is also “in a really bad way”, with holes in the roofing felt leaving his home poorly insulated and cold - resulting in his family spending £25 a week on their key meter.

He also says the attic of his home is littered with “rat droppings everywhere”. Waverley sent pest control to deal with the latter issue late last year, but they only completed one treatment of poison when he was “supposed to have three”.

All of the above, Mr Yeates believes, contributes to Waverley not meeting its side of the tenancy agreement to keep his home “up to a liveable standard” and he is threatening to stop paying his rent until a solution can be found.

According to Mr Yeates, at least three other Waverley tenants in Talbot Road are experiencing similar problems.

A council spokesman said in response: “We have been working with the tenants to resolve their problems and advised that the best way to deal with condensation and associated issues is to adequately heat and ventilate their home.

“We have also topped up the roof insulation and one of our senior surveyors will visit the property to assess whether there is anything else we can do to help.”

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