Mushrooms in Hackney Housing Tenant’s Ceiling

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Mushrooms in Hackney Housing Tenant’s Ceiling
 Allaya Hussain
Legally reviewed by: Allaya Hussain In: Housing Disrepair

A mother of three has been left feeling overwhelmed and helpless after Hackney Housing left her living with mushrooms sprouting from cracks in her ceiling for the past two years.

Serena, a resident of Hackney Housing, expressed her frustration to the BBC, highlighting a series of ongoing problems in her flat spanning over a decade.

She states that the housing association, Peabody, has shown a lack of concern for her and her sons’ living conditions. As a result of the housing disrepair, her children have been living in a distressed state.

In response, a spokesperson from Peabody expressed regret for the prolonged duration it has taken to address the raised issues.

The spokesperson acknowledged the frustration of the situation and assured that they would conduct a thorough inspection of the building. Additionally, they expressed a commitment to exploring additional measures to prevent the recurrence of such problems.

Hackney Housing Tenants Left Feeling Unsafe

Serena, a dedicated NHS key worker who served during the pandemic, revealed that the cracks in her flat’s ceiling and walls have been steadily worsening.

She recounted the distressing conditions, including mushrooms sprouting from the ceiling, leaks plaguing both the bedroom and corridor and an invasion of water flies.

Furthermore, Serena shared her concern about a significant crack. This crack stretches from the floor to the ceiling in her son’s bedroom. It is evident to her that there are underlying subsidence problems. Hackney Housing (Peabody) still refuses to acknowledge the severity of the issue.

Serena follows up by stating: “My home is meant to be a place of comfort where me and my family can be at ease.

“I don’t feel safe in my own home any more.”

Serena says Hackney Housing has sealed the cracks in the ceiling over 10 times since she’s been in the property. However, the problem continues.

“It takes months, if not years, to get someone from the housing association to look at the problem.

“They aren’t interested in the underlying problems of subsidence, they just plaster over the cracks and then disappear again.

“When they investigated the mushrooms, they just pulled them out of the ceiling and gave me £300 in compensation.

“No one has ever issued me with an apology or acknowledged my request to be moved out of the property.”

The Toll of Housing Disrepair on Mental Wellbeing

The adverse effects of the issues are not only physically affecting the family. The housing disrepair has also been significantly impacting Serena and her family’s mental well-being.

“My son has stopped sleeping in his bedroom because he’s scared the ceiling might collapse on him.

“He feels like his own bedroom is like a prison.

“This is having a huge impact on his health and wellbeing.”

Zoe Garbett, a Hackney councillor and the Green Party candidate for Mayor of London expressed her profound shock upon learning about the presence of mushrooms growing on the walls of Serena’s home. She firmly believes that nobody should be subjected to living in such deplorable conditions.

“Too many people live in substandard housing. Landlords including housing associations need to listen to residents about the situations they are living in and find and fix the root cause of problems.”

A spokesperson for Hackney Housing (Peabody said: “We have paid compensation to the resident by way of apology for the delays.

“There are some outstanding repairs still to do and we have agreed with the resident that we will complete them by mid-June.”

What Steps to Take if You Are Living in Housing Disrepair

If you reside in social housing and find yourself confronted with a home in a state of disrepair, our team of housing disrepair solicitors are here to assist you in pursuing the necessary repairs. Moreover, we are dedicated to helping you seek compensation. This can be for any physical or financial hardships you may have endured due to the disrepair within your residence. Cartwright King is a distinguished law firm recognized by the Legal 500. We are accredited by the Law Society for our profound expertise in handling housing disrepair cases.