Mum’s ‘appalling’ rented home sees her fall through floor and ceiling collapse

Mum’s ‘appalling’ rented home sees her fall through floor and ceiling collapse

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

A mum says her ‘horror’ rented home hospitalised her multiple times – including falling through the floor and a ceiling collapsing on her head.

Disabled mother-of-three Victoria Parkhill, 45, has been living in sheltered housing after an accident left her with a broken neck.

She says the home has rotten floors, flooding, and severe mould, forcing her to eat and sleep in the lounge.

Victoria has lived in the property in Watchet, Somerset, since October 2010, when she moved in following an accident where she broke her neck.

She hoped the new home would accommodate her accessibility needs – but she said ‘everything that could go wrong, did go wrong’.

A downstairs wet room which was built so Victoria could shower became mouldy and covered in rust – and when she notified the housing association, they sent workers to paint over it.

Mum Victoria has been hospitalised multiple times (Picture: SWNS)

Her kitchen ceiling is also caving in (Picture: SWNS)

But the underlying problems went unresolved, resulting in the rotten wet room floor collapsing suddenly, causing Victoria to suffer a violent fall into the floor.

She split open her head and was taken to hospital – and later was in A&E again after her ceiling crashed down onto her.

Victoria said the incidents have left her with a damaged disc and ongoing issues with her back.

She said: ‘I have cried every day I feel like I have the weight of the world – my children are severely ill, terribly poorly.

‘It’s been awful as me and my son, 15, are so poorly coughing again he had a asthma attack last night and still no news. It has been hell.’

But the violent fall was just the beginning of Victoria’s problems with the house – her family’s festive season was ruined when Victoria’s 8-year-old daughter Isla woke her up shouting, ‘Mommy the house is flooded!’ 

After the fall, Victoria suffered bruising and a cut (Picture: SWNS)

A leaking upstairs tap had filled the ground floor with a foot of water overnight, blowing out the electricity, destroying appliances and wrecking the kitchen.

Victoria said: ‘I will never forget waking up and seeing water pouring out of a tap that wasn’t even turned on. It was horrific, my ankles were in water.

‘But it is now day 43 since this flood – and they still have not done a single thing. The floors still have water underneath – it’s absolutely devastating and the smell is just disgusting.’

She said Magna housing association, who own the property, failed to attend to the waterlogged ceiling for over a month, until it deteriorated so much the plaster blew and rained down on Victoria and her dog in early February. 

While a Magna surveyor agreed they would fix the ceiling, they provided no date, and did not make any attempt to fix it before it partially fell down, she says.

The crumbling plaster ceiling left the family unable to eat in the dining room and retreating to the lounge for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Magna Housing provided a dehumidifier (Picture: SWNS)

She said Magna have refused to fix much of the damage, leaving Victoria and her family with waterlogged floors, warped doors, and a damp house.

The humid home is now aggravating a long-term damp problem in the property, which has left 8-year-old Isla off sick from school, and 28-year-old Ashley sleeping downstairs with his young daughter when she comes to visit. 

Victoria said: ‘My daughter has missed half of the term with severe coughs and colds, she is now on antibiotics. My son is terribly poorly – we have slipped through the net and should have been put in sheltered accommodation.’

Magna provided the family with a dehumidifier, but it has done little to tackle the thick black mould growing around the windows and walls of the property – which stubbornly returns despite being regularly cleaned.

In an attempt to air the house the wet room window is left open, but as a result ivy is now invading the property and has to be cut back from the interior walls. 

Victoria said there was no hope of winning the fight against the mould when water was coming up from beneath the floorboards and said the situation had left her crying so badly she was unable to speak.

Black mould speckles the interior ceilings and walls (Picture: SWNS)

Victoria said: ‘I’ve lost so much money than just my flooring. My carpets still stink upstairs and yet I’ve tried to not be one of those people who claim for ridiculous things to be greedy. I’m so poorly – it’s awful I feel like I don’t know where to start.

‘The kitchen’s falling apart which was donated to me in 2014 to help me be more independent with cooking it’s just ruined.’

She added that a Magna housing officer was ‘shocked’ her family had not been offered alternative accommodation following the flood. 

Victoria said: ‘To these powerful companies, the little person doesn’t matter, the tenant doesn’t matter – I have been reporting this for years.’

More Trending

Read More Stories

In a statement, Magna said: ‘We are really sorry that Ms Parkhill has outstanding repairs in her home that have taken longer than we would normally expect.

‘Ms Parkhill contacted our out of hours team in late December to report a leak from a faulty tap, which we responded to the following day. We were able to ensure the lights were made safe, used a wet vac to clean the affected area, and provided a dehumidifier.

‘However, it wasn’t until after Ms Parkhill contacted us again on 18 January that we visited the very next day to inspect the water damage. This should have happened sooner, and we have apologised to Ms Parkhill that it didn’t.’

Victoria said wasn’t until after she asked her MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, to intervene that her landlord rebuilt one room.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *