Thursday, 2 Feb 2023

Mum ‘cries most nights’ in council flat stricken with mould

Mum of two Martina Shurmer in her damp council flat

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A young mother and her two children are living in a “damp and freezing” council flat with a “hole in the kitchen”.

Martina Shurmer, 21, “cries most nights” and says she feels like “a bad mum” as the family home has a leak and is very cold.

But despite several complaints made by the council to the contractor, she claims nothing has been done to fix the issues.

They’ve left Martina’s four-year-old daughter often telling her mum “I don’t want to live here, I don’t like it.”

Martina, who also has a two-year-old child, claims the family have suffered “non-stop” coughs and colds since moving around one year ago to the property in Quinton, Birmingham.

Speaking today to Birmingham Live, she said: “My depression’s going down bad like I don’t want to live here. Most nights I go to my room crying because I feel like it’s disgusting for the kids.

“I feel like a bad mum for them actually living here and I don’t even want to stay here, I go to my nan’s because that’s how bad it is. My daughter says she doesn’t want to live here – she just says she doesn’t like it. She says it’s cold.”

The mother of two claims the balcony is “rotting”, there is a leak and there’s a “hole in the kitchen that brings in a freezing draft”.

Not even blasting the heating all day keeps the property warm, she says, with the mum having to wrap up in a blanket.

“My window’s got mould all over it, the balcony door is rotting away,” Martina said.

“The draft is coming through there and my kitchen as the window doesn’t shut properly. There’s mould around the flat, I’ve tried to clean it with soapy water.

“I keep calling up the council.

“It’s all leaking. It’s got black mould around it as well. It does smell in the property, I have to spray it every day.

“It’s cold, I have to have the heating on all the time, but normally that doesn’t even help. I put a blanket around me but it’s still cold. [The kids] are getting ill because of how cold it is, they keep coughing as well.

“There’s nowhere to put the clothes, where the cold air’s coming through, it’s not drying them. They’re still wet when I need them.

“I just want the flat to be sorted where I want to live in here.”

Birmingham City Council vowed to have its contractor investigate “why so many complaints had to be raised”.

A statement from the authority read: “We are very sorry for the impact that the leak has had on this tenant. We have raised the issue with our contractor and will investigate why so many complaints had to be raised.

“We have told our contractor to urgently agree an action plan with the tenant for stopping the leak and treating the damp and mould so it is kept at bay.”

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