A WOMAN has been spending nights in a sleeping bag on the floor in her lounge after mould and mushrooms have taken over her apartment.

Anna Lewis, of St Mary’s in Wantage, has been complaining to the housing association, which owns part of her home, for about seven years.

She claims Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, which own about 25 per cent of her property, “refuses” to deal with the mould as it is an “internal issue”.

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Oxford Mail: The mould and dampness growing on the wallsThe mould and dampness growing on the walls (Image: n/a)

However, Miss Lewis believes it is the responsibility of the association to remove as the dampness causing the problem is coming from outside.

“I’ve got the most beautiful property,” she said. “I’ve worked hard all my life for it. However, when I moved in, there were mushrooms and mould on the inside of one of the walls.  

“My best friend called the association and asked them to sort it. I had cancer at the time and my immune system wasn’t good so I had to move out for two weeks while they injected something into the wall and that’s the only time it ever had mould.

“Three years later, it came back all over the other walls and I phoned the association and they came out and said it was nothing to do with them.

“My dad then died so I moved out to stay with my mum for a while and by the time I came back the mould was incredible.

Oxford Mail: The mould on one of the wallsThe mould on one of the walls (Image: n/a)

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“I kept phoning them and they kept saying it wasn’t their fault so I bought expensive sprays and started scrubbing it but it didn’t go away.”

Miss Lewis said the association then sent a surveyor to assess the mould. Miss Lewis claims the report concluded the issue was emanating from outside and was therefore the association’s responsibility.

However, MTVH said the surveyor concluded "the areas of concern to be free from moisture" but "some surface mould could be seen" so the company advised the use of a non-porous paint that would help address the appearance of surface mould.

However, Miss Lewis claims no action has been taken and has therefore decided to get a solicitor involved.

“I am sleeping in a sleeping bag in the living room by the only wall that doesn’t have mould,” she said. “I’m sick to death of it.

Oxford Mail: The dampness on the ceilingThe dampness on the ceiling (Image: n/a)

“It’s been going on for seven years. I’ve had deaths in the family, cancer to deal with it, and on top of all that, I have to deal with this – it is just not acceptable.

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“To be in my own home and have to deal with this is not right. They think that because I live alone they can just leave it and I’ll give up – I will not because it is my home.”

A spokesperson for Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing said: "We have been aware of the issues that Ms Lewis is experiencing and have responded to her reports.

"We have visited her home earlier this year to carry out an inspection and provided treatment advice.

"We will continue to work with Ms Lewis and her legal representatives to investigate the issues she has reported.”

A further inspection is due to take place on October 3.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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