A family from Brixton who claim they are living in a ‘nightmare’ mouldy home have shared three texts that appear to be from Lambeth Council asking them to rate the repair job they reportedly haven’t ever turned up to complete. Marie McManus, 36, previously told MyLondon her family, including her mother Agnes Carruthers, 66, were living in fear due to nasty growths around their temporary accommodation on Saxby Road, South London.
This comes almost two years after an independent surveyor concluded the landlord (Lambeth Council) was “in breach of their duty” due to the disrepair, in documents seen by MyLondon. Last month Marie filmed as water gushed out of her sink flooding the kitchen floor, while she claims the installation of extractor fans by Lambeth Council have had little effect on the damp.
READ MORE: South London family ‘goes through hell and back’ in house with mould ‘that could kill son’
(Image: Marie McManus)
Marie first received a text from Lambeth Repair Services on February 15 saying a contractor had confirmed “your repair is now complete” despite no work taking place. To add to the insult it also asked her to complete a survey, adding “we are very interested to hear how your repair went”.
She then received the same text on February 21 and 23. On February 21 another text said the work was booked between “09:52-09:53” for August 20 2022, giving builders only 60 seconds to carry out repairs in seven months. Shortly after she claims she received another text to say it was done.
(Image: Marie McManus)
Marie said: “They say they are going to send someone out but guess what, nobody turns up. I thought are they taking the p*ss again. I am thinking by the third text ‘For f***s sake grow up, what the hell is the problem, now I am going to withhold rent, screw you.'” Marie showed MyLondon an eviction order received shortly after she refused to pay. She added: “I’m more than prepared to fight it in court.”
Marie’s mum, who has survived a stroke, would lose her secure tenancy at Loughborough Park if they were evicted, forcing them to stay in the mouldy temporary accommodation. She said it was a “big deal” and they would “technically be homeless”, but “if you are going to force our hand, then fine”. Marie said she had no plans to clear her rent arrears while the disrepair issues continued.
The McManus’s were moved to Saxby Road in 2018 after their permanent home at Loughborough Park was found to be in disrepair. Last year Lambeth Council attempted to evict them from the temporary accommodation so they would return home, but they ruled this out after the family argued the house was still uninhabitable.
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In a statement, Lambeth council said: “We have worked to resolve a number of problems identified at this home for several months, and the property is now subject to a formal disrepair case. A manager from our contractor has attempted to call the family today without success. Their disrepair supervisor will be visiting today with the intention to book and confirm appointments to resolve any outstanding works. We’d like to apologise for any distress Mrs McManus and her family have experienced in the meantime.
“Lambeth has more than 33,000 council homes and our priority is ensuring all of these are safe and well-maintained for our tenants. We have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in improving our council homes and estates in recent years, in line with the Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS). Lambeth has also concentrated on making improvements to day-to-day repairs and maintenance, including assigning 10 new firms and a brand new in-house repairs team to the task since this summer. These improvements demonstrate our determination to provide a better service to tenants. We’re committed to continuing these improvements, and acting quickly to resolve problems when they are brought to our attention.”
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