House of horrors: Is this the worst council property in Norwich?
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022
A city mum is battling with the council over the state of her mouldy home - and now it is sinking!
Suzi Earl, of Gertrude Road, has been dealing with multiple issues in her home since she moved in September 2015 including water running down the walls, damp and electrical faults.
Initially the 40-year-old became worried about problems with the roof and electrical issues.
Multiple workmen were called out to check the wiring in 2018 and all of them told her the house needed significant work and a complete rewiring.
Mum -of-six Suzi said that despite reporting this to the council they have not started any work on the electrics.
And now she fears the problems are getting beyond repair.
“There was a hole in the roof which was finally fixed in summer of 2017," she said. "All seemed well and we were looking forward to enjoying a warm winter with our new insulation.
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“Since the roof was ‘fixed’ we have seen an unimaginable amount of mould - it first started to appear in my daughter's room.
“Christmas 2020 it upped a gear we have serious mould issues in two of the bedrooms and the living room.
“But now, there is also water, sometimes 12 inches, it’s running down the walls and is soaking the carpets both in the living room, and the carpet right near where my son sleeps.”
Council workers have been out to take photographs of the damage in Suzi’s home but having heard nothing she fears her family's woes have fallen on deaf ears.
She now claims she has been advised to open her windows to solve the damp issue and scrub the walls to fix the mould.
She added: “They have made me feel like a nuisance - do they honestly think I don’t open the windows to let the air flow?
“And I clean the mould all the time. But as fast as I am cleaning it away, more is growing.”
Despite Suzi being certain that these problems are caused by the bodged job in the loft, no one has yet been up there to check it out.
And on top of Suzi's housing horrors she is now growing concerned for her children's health.
She said: “Three of my children are asthmatic and my son also has croup twice in the last two years - which is unusual for a nine-year-old. I am not saying it’s definitely the mould but It can’t be helping.”
And now the family have been told their house is subsiding.
“My house is really leaning to one side," Suzi added. "I called someone out to look at it, and they just filled in the cracks between the bricks with sand. What is that going to do?
“And the doors are broken as well. You have to really slam the front and back doors to get them to close, and they need a good yank to open, I live in fear that there will be a fire and my children won't be able to escape.”
“I’m not an impatient person at all, but this feels ridiculous, I don’t know what to do and I feel I’m being blamed for something that isn’t my fault."
Suzi is currently on the council list to move out of the property.
But with her children Britney, seven, Chase, nine, Caiden, 14, Kenze, 16, Danielle 21, and Sammy, 23 who also has a five-year-old and a two-year-old of her own, finding a suitable home is proving difficult.
A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “The electrical test for this property is up to date and any follow up work graded by urgency.
“We have already completed the higher priority job and have added a rewire to our upgrade programme due to the age of the property.
“We responded to Ms Earl about other concerns regarding her property in November and are awaiting further information.”