Home Kent News Dover family forced to live in house coated in damp and mould

Dover family forced to live in house coated in damp and mould

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Original article from Kent Live

A Dover family who are living in a house riddled with damp and mould infestations are "appalled" by their local council's lack of action.

Courtney Cope, 23, who lives in the two-bedroom residence in Tower Hill with her fiancée, three young children and dog, said the house seemed fine when they first moved in October 2020.

However, around eight months later mould and damp started "pouring through the walls" and it has since got everywhere.

It has left Courtney and her family in a desperate state, with four of them having to sleep in one bedroom, and relying on friends to clothe her children as their original clothes were all covered in mould.

Some of the mould that has seeped into the walls of the house

Despite this she claims Dover District Council have said the house is not in a bad enough state for them to act on.

The situation has left Courtney unable to cope anymore, as she says their landlord has refused to fix the problem, only providing them with a de-humidifier and saying not to turn the heating off.

Bags of items that the family had to throw away due to mould and damp ruining them

"Not only have I got to run this de-humidifier I've also got to keep my heating going, which I can't afford, so it's either pay bills or eat," she said.

"I've gone to the council and asked for help, I've begged so many times, but they've said until I'm physically homeless they won't do anything.

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"So they're willing to see three children on the street with myself and my partner and my dog before they're even willing to act on anything which is absolutely disgusting."

An example of some of the damp in the house

The situation is so severe that the two youngest children, aged 15-months-old and 3-months-old, have gone to hospital numerous times due to chest infections and breathing difficulties.

They have also needed oxygen on several occasions, which further highlights the health hazard living in such conditions can pose.

Courtney said: "I need to get out of here as soon as possible to better their health, but they're [the council] still not willing to help us, even though two small babies are being hospitalised every other week."

Moving out to a new property has proved impossible as well, with private estate agents preventing them from renting due to the family's lack of guaranteed income.

The extent of mould in the house is quite severe

Courtney is on universal credit, while her partner is a self-employed builder which has made this tricky.

On top of these problems, the family have also been served with a Section 21 eviction notice by their landlord, meaning they will need to evacuate the property by November 1.

This would make them homeless, which is only when the council would step in, and even then Courtney claims it is not guaranteed they could be housed when that time arrives.

Giving her opinions on the council Courtney said: "They are useless, they don't care about the local people in their town, when you try to speak to them they are very arrogant and very rude.

"They don't really care because they have a roof over their heads and food on the table, where everything else is going on they're not concerned about."

Dover District Council have been asked for comment on this situation, but have not yet responded.

Original Article