Man refusing to pay rent for council flat over 16-year mould problem

Andy Sharpe outside the flats at Sleaford Green where there is broken guttering. Picture: DENISE BRA

Andy Sharpe outside the flats at Sleaford Green where there is broken guttering. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

A man is withholding his rent after "disgusting" mould issues continue to invade his council-owned flat 16 years after he first moved in.

Andy Sharpe, 58, lives in a ground floor two-bedroom flat in Sleaford Green, off Aylsham Road in Norwich.

Damp and mould in Andy Sharpe's flat at Sleaford Green in the bedroom which was his son's. Picture:

Damp and mould in Andy Sharpe's flat at Sleaford Green in the bedroom which was his son's. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

He claims there were always major mould problems since he moved to the Norwich City Council property in 2005.

He said tiles have been lifted off the roof in the flat above him and the guttering and roof needed an overhaul.

Some repairs were done by the city council but Mr Sharpe said the problems are continuing and he has resorted to sorting out the mould by redecorating and filling in gaps next to the windows in the past.

The flaking and damp ceiling in Andy Sharpe's kitchen at his flat at Sleaford Green. Picture: DENISE

The flaking and damp ceiling in Andy Sharpe's kitchen at his flat at Sleaford Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

The former BT engineer, who cannot work because of a long-term back condition, said: "Damp and mould in the property has been reported to the council from day one.

"There are six places in the guttering where in the past rain has spewed through the walls. The ceiling in the kitchen is terrible. It is getting worse.

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"It is disgusting and I feel very angry and upset. I want to get away from it."

Andy Sharpe in the damp and mouldy bedroom which was his son's, at his flat at Sleaford Green. Pictu

Andy Sharpe in the damp and mouldy bedroom which was his son's, at his flat at Sleaford Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Mr Sharpe receives Universal Credit and pays £87 a week for the accommodation.

But this month he put his foot down - refusing to fork out because of the problem.

He first moved into the flat with his son who was four at the time.

His son left in 2021.

The 58-year-old said there was a big mould and damp problem in the room where his child used to sleep which he believed caused him to suffer "dreadful allergies".

"At the time he was living here he was anxious about it," Mr Sharpe added.

Damp and mould in Andy Sharpe's flat at Sleaford Green in the bedroom which was his son's. Picture:

Damp and mould in Andy Sharpe's flat at Sleaford Green in the bedroom which was his son's. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

He said the council has done work over time including putting in double glazing and radiators, as well as scraping moss from gutters and "fiddling around with joints" - but Mr Sharpe said the main issue was the roof.

A raised tile, moss on the roof, and rotten fascia boards above Andy Sharpe's flat at Sleaford Green

A raised tile, moss on the roof, and rotten fascia boards above Andy Sharpe's flat at Sleaford Green. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

He added he wants the authority to renovate the building similarly to a block of its flats opposite his, which were done in 2007.

The council was approached for comment but declined.