Disabled woman buying tent to live in her garden so she can escape mouldy bungalow

A woman plans to live in a tent in her garden as a way to get out of her mold-infested home. Donna Chatterley, 55, from Tattershall with a registered disability, first complained to her landlord about mold in her bedroom in February this year, but says the problem remains.

She now has mold in every room, in the cupboards, on the walls and on the furniture. Her kitchen cupboards are so moldy that she has resorted to storing her food in the living room where she also sleeps on the couch. Her GP says she is living with conditions that are affecting her health and that they will support moving to more suitable accommodation.

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Mrs. Chatterley, who has movement problems, post-traumatic stress disorder and is bipolar, gets tested for aspergillosis, an infection caused by mold. Ms Chatterley spoke of her ordeal after the coroner found baby Owab Isaac dead in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by mold in a housing association flat in Greater Manchester.

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She said she was considering living in a tent in the garden or even a shed despite the risk of exposure to loose asbestos. Mrs Chatterley said: “I’m buying a bell tent and a wood stove so I can live in the garden as the living room I slept in is now starting to develop mold.

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Mold on their walls

“I even consider sleeping in the shed as the asbestos drips from the roof. It will be 30 years before the asbestos gets to me, but the mold in the house is affecting me now.” Ms Chatterley said her housing group, the Platform Housing Association, had concluded there was a problem with condensation.

She sought a second opinion from a private company and said her conclusion was that the mold in the bathroom was due to a lack of insulation. Ms Chatterley escalated her complaint with Platform – and she has also complained to the Ombudsman about the lack of a solution to the mold problem.

“The stand wanted to test the concrete floor for moisture in the middle of a heatwave,” she said. “I suggested that it wouldn’t be better to come in the winter when it would be damp rather than dry.” Neighbor Kerry O’Brien, 48, has mold and damp in her home, which she rents from Platform.

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Mold has spread in her food

Ms. O’Brien said she first noticed the problem about seven months ago and that the mold was causing her health problems. She said, “I haven’t even been able to sleep lately. I had to go to my sister’s house to sleep in her living room, otherwise it would make me sick.”

A Platform spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about Ms Chatterley’s condition. Unfortunately, a client recently canceled an appointment. However, we now have a scheduled appointment where we will be giving her advice on how to manage the humidity levels in her home.”

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