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Mum says leaks in East Barnet flat are ‘horrendous’

A mum has described having to live in “horrendous” conditions caused by water pouring into her flat during heavy rain.

Hayley Brown, who lives in Desmond House, East Barnet, says repeated flooding has left her with mould, damp and mushrooms in the flat – where she cares for her four-month-old baby and two other children.

A film shared on Desmond House residents’ group’s Twitter page shows water pouring into the flat during wet weather on Wednesday, June 17.

It was filmed running into the boiler cupboard and onto an electrical switch, pouring from light fittings in the kitchen and hallway and dripping from a smoke alarm in the bathroom.

Ms Brown said: “I was lying in bed and water started pouring out. It was coming from the lights in the hallway and kitchen.

“It was in every room apart from the bedroom – water was coming from the light fittings and onto my furniture.

“Every time it rains really heavily I get leaks – it is brown, dirty water.

“I’ve got a four-month-old baby and two other children having to deal with it – it’s constantly stinking, with mould and damp all behind my sofa, fungus and mushrooms. It is horrendous having to live like this.”

Ms Brown said she had been affected by several problems, including repeated flooding, since improvement works started on the building three years ago.

She claimed a previous leak in the bathroom had left the wall so fragile it partly collapsed on her cousin.

“I have had to move out four times because of how unsafe it is,” she said.

“The leaks that were coming through the bathroom damaged two of my carpets. When my son was born, the boiler was leaking water everywhere.

“One time the toilet was overflowing with sewage. Other people’s faeces were in my flat, with me and my sister having to scoop it out.

“I should not be living like this – especially with a newborn baby.”

Ms Brown said she had repeatedly complained to landlord Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association, but the problems kept on happening.

She hopes to be able to move out of the block but does not want to have to live all the way across the borough – and she says a hotel room would be too small for her family.

“It does not seem like anyone is getting stuff done,” she said. “These problems were happening before – you can’t blame the lockdown. I think I am entitled to be moved out.”

A spokesperson for Metropolitan Thames Valley said: “We are very sorry about the issues that affected three households at Desmond House last week.

“Upon being notified of the incident, we attended quickly and made the situation safe. We have supported residents of the affected properties to find alternative accommodation, where required, and we will continue to support them to return to their fully repaired homes as soon as possible.

“We remain committed to completing the important improvement works at Desmond House as quickly and safely as possible.”



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Written by whatthegoss

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