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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Melissa Sigodo

Family sleeping in front room told home 'safe' despite claims of 'rats in oven' and mould

A family-of-three have been told their home is “safe” despite sleeping in their living room due to their fears over mould in bedrooms and the presence of rats.

Healthcare worker Tanya Hall, 40, and her two sons Themetrius, 22, and Haiden, 7 - who suffers from autism - claim they have been sleeping on a blow-up bed for nearly two months following medical advice to stay away from the mould.

As well as mould, the family claims they have been plagued by rodents which has seen them struggle to cook as first mice and then rats were found in the oven of their home in Southall, west London. Their housing association however says a pest control expert found minimal activity.

In a note seen by the Mirror, paramedics who visited Tanya following breathing problems and a panic attack, told her to “keep out of the mouldy room” due to her breathing difficulties and to see a GP.

Tanya, who claims she has had to buy replacements for belongings damaged by mould, has been told by housing association A2Dominion “there is no need to move out.”

A rat Tanya caught which had left her unable to cook in her own kitchen (Tanya Hall)

After being diagnosed with asthma, anxiety, depression and a lump she recently found in her breast, Tanya says she feels she “will die” as a result of panic attacks from worrying about “the safety” of her children.

Tanya said: “I get panic attacks a lot because of this house. I'm thinking about the safety of my children. I don't sleep. I'm catching rats.

“That’s what stopped me from cooking for a few days because I'm scared. [The rats] live in my walls every single night.

"When I see the rat droppings I don't eat in the house. I have to order takeaways."

Tanya says she has seen rat droppings in her kitchen which has put her off cooking (Tanya Hall)

As well as a pest control company having been called out by landlords, Tanya caught a rat herself and has found droppings as well as the family's food being nibbled by the rodents.

Meanwhile Tanya claims the mould has left her and her children coughing and “choking every single night” while they sleep on an inflatable bed.

The mum claims she had a panic attack at the end of January and had to call an ambulance and that when paramedics arrived, they would not come into her bedroom because of the strong smell of mould and advised her to avoid spending time there because of it.

Tanya was told by paramedics to stay out of the mouldy rooms after having breathing trouble and a panic attack (Tanya Hall)

Tanya said: “The paramedics came and they said that there's a strong smell of mould. They can't see me in my bedroom. They asked me to come out and I came in the front room.”

The paramedics advised Tanya to go to hospital for further treatment but she felt unable to as there was no-one available or capable of looking after her autistic younger son.

She said: “We cough every night in here. We don't sleep every night.

“When I go to bed, my chest gets tight at night in that room. I can't breathe. We're choking because of the mould."

Tanya claims the family had no option but to shift through to the lounge to sleep on temporary ends, where they have slept regularly for two months.

She said: "This is my second blow up bed. And every night I have to be pumping the electric ones.

“It's a fairly loud noise, so [my son] wakes up.”

Tanya says that despite her constant cleaning, the mould keeps returning and leaves her home with an overpowering scent.

Tanya says she constantly cleans her home to try and stop the mould from getting worse but the scent remains (Tanya Hall)
Tanya says the mould has left her and her two sons choking at night from the invisible particles (Tanya Hall)

She said: “No matter how much you wipe, the smell of it stays in there. It's in my bed, in my chest of drawers. It's everywhere.”

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called on 27 January 2023 at 12:44am to reports of a person unwell.

“We sent an ambulance crew who assessed a woman at the scene and advised taking her to hospital for further investigations.

“The patient declined and so the crew gave advice including calling 999 or 111 should her condition deteriorate.”

Tanya fears the mould will return to the state it was a few years ago (Tanya Hall)

Tanya says she also has to bear the cost of heating up the living room which is located next to the garden.

The mum-of-two claims that her sons have been left ‘freezing’ and needing to use a hot water bottle which left her oldest son with severe burns.

She said: “I have to have the heater on because the door is next to the garden. So it's very cold.

“My son went to go to bed and he put the lid on the hot water bottle. My son was freezing and he said let me go and get a hot water bottle and he burned the whole of his leg.

“I don’t know what next is going to happen next in that house.”

Tanya and her two sons have been sleeping on a blow-up bed because of the mould (Tanya Hall)

Dawn Wightman, Director of Homes & Communities, at A2Dominion, said: “We would like to apologise to Ms Hall for the problems she has experienced in her property. We take all reports of damp and mould very seriously.

“A specialist inspection has been conducted and repair works are ongoing. Extensive proofing has also taken place at the property and a pest control expert found minimal pest activity.

“Our team spoke with Ms Hall on Tuesday 21 March and told her that further investigation works will take place on Thursday 6 April.

“We’ve informed Ms Hall that there is no need for her to move out of the property and we have not advised her to sleep in the front room.

“The decision not to relocate the family was made alongside the relevant authorities, who have knowledge of Ms Hall’s particular circumstances and access to the relevant information.

“We’re also sorry to hear that some of Ms Hall’s belonging have been damaged and would advise her to make an insurance claim, should any assistance be required then we remain on hand to help.

“We’ve agreed with Ms Hall to maintain weekly contact and will continue to act in her best interests.

“We’d like to reassure her that the property is safe and we are doing all we can to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

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